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"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


New Orleans Grillades and Grits

"The Creole Cafe steamed with onion vapor, garlic mists tomato fogs
and green-pepper sprays. I cooked and sweated among the cloying

odors and loved being there."

~ Maya Angelou, in 'Gather Together in My Name'

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Mardi Gras 2013 - 12 February


La Belle Cuisine


Carnival’s Dish

Going local with Grillades and grits
By Dale Curry

New Orleans Magazine, January 2005

New Orleans Magazine - One Year Subscription  

“Years ago, shortly after I moved to New Orleans, I was a guest at a Thoth parade party in the heart of Uptown. Bloody Marys, cheese straws and a meaty brunch
dish served with grits sustained us while we laughed and jumped for beads. It was
a whimsical morning, one I’ll always remember as part of my first Carnival, and when we were saying our goodbyes, my friend told out hostess something like,
'The gree-odds were delicious.'
Not in my Southern vocabulary but, yes, they were delicious, those little strips of tender beef swimming in a spicy roux-based gravy. It wasn’t long before I learned that ‘grillades’ are the quintessential Creole brunch dish dating as far back as the mid-19th century, when Mmes Begue and Esparbe prepared them for riverfront market workers. An early lunch or brunch fueled the butchers, fishermen and farmers who had worked since daybreak and were in need of something filling. Grillades and grits filled the need in those little cafes that became some of the
city’s first restaurants.
…And it never tasted so good as at late-night buffets after the Carnival balls, surrounded by lots of King Cake, bread pudding and Bananas Foster. Soooo
New Orleans…
…But if there is another dish unique to New Orleans and married to Mardi Gras
[in addition to jambalaya, gumbo and étouffée], it has to be grillades.
For one thing, grillades is a New Orleans creation. ‘The Picayune’s Creole
Cook Book, ‘published in 1901, reads. ‘Our grillades or fried meat à la Creole
are famous, relishable, and most digestible… The great truth is that the
Creoles know how to fry meat.’
…The technique, then and now, is to pound a round steak, beef or veal, until
thin, cut it into squares or strips and lightly brown it in hot oil. Ingredients
remain essentially the same – round steak, onion, garlic, tomatoes and a roux. Versions range from briefly cooking tender baby veal, a restaurant preference,
to the long, slow-simmering of the tougher beef round…”

“Grillades are a wholesome, warming dish timely for Carnival and winter.
For a fancier presentation and lighter taste, serve them with souffléd grits.
For less work or to feed the throngs, cook quick grits according to package
directions.” [Or you might want to try these! ]


2 pounds veal or beef round steak,
about 1/2 inch thick
Salt, pepper and Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped with
white and green parts divided
3 large cloves garlic, minced
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, or
(when in season) 3 large Creole tomatoes,
peeled and diced
2 cups water [or beef or veal stock]
1/2 cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon [dried] thyme
Few dashes Tabasco
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Trim round steak of fat and bone and rub with seasonings. Pound to
1/4-inch thickness and cut into pieces, about 2 inches by 3 inches.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy pot. Brown meat pieces on
both sides a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd pot. Set the
meat aside. (Brown bits in bottom of pot will be absorbed as other
ingredients are added.)
Add 1/2 cup oil to pot and stir in flour to make a roux. Stir constantly
over medium heat until roux is dark brown but not burned. Immediately
add onion, bell pepper, celery and white part of green onions. Reduce
heat and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Add garlic, cook for another
minute and stir in tomatoes, water [or stock] and wine. Add remainder
of ingredients except green onion tops and parsley. Stir well and return
meat to pot.
Simmer, covered, until meat is fork tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours,
stirring occasionally. When finished, add 1/4 cup green onion tops
and parsley. Serve over grits or Grits Soufflé. Serves 6.

Grits Soufflé

3 cups cooked grits, salted to taste
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup milk
1/2 stick [1/4 cup] butter, melted

Cook 1 cup quick grits in 3 cups salted water to make 3 cups grits.
In a large bowl or pot in which grits were cooked, combine grits with
beaten egg yolks, milk and butter. In an electric mixer, beat egg whites
until stiff and fold gently into grits. Place in greased medium casserole
or soufflé dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Grillades and Grits, Mamete's
Grits Deserve a Better Name!
Louisiana Shrimp and Andouille
over Grits (Chef John Besh)

Sausage Cheese Grits
Sausage and Grits Frittata

Creole Calas
Eggs Creole (Commander's Palace)
Eggs Louis Armstrong (Commander's Palace)
Eggs Hussarde (Brennan's)
Crabmeat Hash with Eggs and
Hollandaise (Mr. B's Bistro)


Index - Breakfast Recipe Archives
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