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La Belle Cuisine - More Lagniappe * Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

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

*Lagniappe (lan-yap)  - a little something extra,
that little unexpected pleasant surprise.


New Orleans Restaurants - Antoine's



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"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."
Mark Twain, 1884

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La Belle Cuisine


Most of the following background information and the recipes are excerpted from "The New Orleans Restaurant Cookbook" by Deirdre Stanforth, published in 1967 by Doubleday & Co., Inc. This delightfully entertaining and informative cookbook
is unfortunately out of print. Perhaps luck will be with you and you can locate it...


If not, just contact us if you're looking for a particular New Orleans
restaurant recipe. Who knows, we just may have it!

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Among my many blessings I count the privilege of having spent a large part
of my childhood in New Orleans. Because my mother was a woman of dis-
criminating taste, I was introduced to some of the finer things in life at a
very early age. Fine cuisine was certainly included, which means that my
love affair with New Orleans delicacies has endured over half a century!
 One of my first memorable meals was at the world-renowned Antoine's...


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"It was spring in 1840, when New Orleans was queen city of the Mississippi
River, when cotton was king and French gentlemen settled their differences
under the oaks with pistols for two and coffee for one. "Dixie" had not yet
been written, destined to become the marching anthem for Confederate forces
in the War Between the States.
This was the city young Antoine Alciatore adopted, after two frustrating years
in New York, to establish a restaurant that would endure under his family's
direction for more than 150 years and set the standard that has made New
Orleans one of the great dining centers of the world."  (Antoine's)

Deirdre Stanforth describes Antoine's as "probably the world's most famous restaurant". She continues, "Behind the typical French Quarter façade is a deliberately plain dining room with white-tiled floor, hatracks, Victorian brass chandeliers, and the original early gas mantles..." Antoine's has both the look
and feel of a venerable institution; there is a unquestionable sense of history in
its numerous public and private dining rooms. It is the sort of place that triggers
the wish that the walls could talk... what amazing stories they would tell!
Among Antoine's many claims to fame are culinary delights that originated in
its kitchen: Oysters Rockefeller,  fabulous Soufflé Potatoes, and Pompano en
Papillote. As much as I'd like to be able to pass along all three of these recipes
to you, we'll have to settle for one, Pompano en Papillote. (Update! See Oysters Rockefeller and Antoine's Pommes de Terres Soufflés.)
The Oysters Rockefeller recipe is a jealously guarded secret. An interesting
culinary note is that the recipe is often imitated. Many New Orleans restaurants
offer their own version, most containing spinach, which we are assured is NOT
an ingredient of Antoine's recipe. Deirdre Stanforth informs us that the sauce,
developed by Jules Alciatore as an adaptation of the sauce in Snails Bourgignon served by Antoine's in the 1850s, is made up of 18 ingredients, including ab-
sinthe, and is so rich that it was named after America's wealthiest citizen.
But enough talk... on to the recipes! 

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La Chair de Crabe à la Creole
(Crabmeat St. Pierre)

1 1/2 pounds crabmeat
1/4 stick [2 tablespoons] butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped bell (green) pepper
1 cup peeled tomatoes
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and cayenne to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese

Sauté crabmeat in butter only long enough to cook the meat. Add green onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, and parsley. Season to taste and cook
all ingredients until slightly thickened. Cover with a mixture of bread crumbs and grated cheese. Pass under the broiler and serve immediately. Serves 6. [Appetizer]

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Oysters Bonne Femme
(from The Restaurants of New Orleans, Roy F. Guste, Jr.,
1982, W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.)


3 dozen oysters in their liquor
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper or to taste
1 cup lump crabmeat
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) grated Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs

Put the oysters in a small saucepan with their liquor and simmer for 10
to 12 minutes or until they are cooked, not soft. Strain the liquid from
the oysters (about 1 3/4 cups) and set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook the flour and
butter together for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture
becomes foamy. Add the reserved oyster liquor, the white wine, green
onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down to a
simmer and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Fold in the oysters and
crabmeat, being careful not to break them up. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
In a separate bowl, blend the grated cheeses and bread crumbs.
To serve, spoon the warm oyster and crabmeat mixture into either a
1-quart soufflé dish or six individual 1/2-cup soufflé dishes. Sprinkle
the cheese and bread crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 20
minutes in a preheated 400-degree [F.] oven or until the cheese is
melted and begins to brown. Remove from the oven and serve.
Serves 6. [Appetizer]

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Hearts of Artichoke Bayard
From The Restaurants of New Orleans, Roy F. Guste, Jr.


5 quarts water
3 tablespoons salt
6 artichokes

Vinaigrette Sauce:
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 dozen flat anchovy fillets
(a small tin contains 1 dozen fillets)
1 cup minced celery, strings removed
1/4 cup minced parsley
3/4 cup minced green onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 ripe tomatoes
3 cups chopped lettuce (1 large
head of Boston or Bibb lettuce)
1 hard-boiled egg, minced
3 teaspoons caviar or roe (black)

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil and add 3 tablespoons of salt.
Add the artichokes, and boil for 35 minutes or until done.
Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the vinegar, olive oil, powdered
mustard, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper in a bowl and whisking
together, or putting these ingredients in a bottle, capping the bottle, and
shaking well.
Remove the artichokes from the water, drain, and cool. When the arti-
chokes are cool enough to handle, cut off the stems and discard. Remove
the leaves, and scrape off and retain the meat from the leaves; discard the
leaves. Scrape off the hairy part of the artichoke and discard. Chill the six
hearts and the meat from the leaves.
Drain and mince a dozen of the anchovy fillets.
In a bowl combine the minced anchovies, celery, parsley, green onions,
leaf scrapings, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Divide the
mixture into six equal portions. Use your hands to form the portions into
balls, and squeeze out any excess liquid from the vegetables.
To assemble the salad, begin by slicing each of the two tomatoes into
three slices vertically, and then cut the slices in half. Put one half cup
of the chopped lettuce on each of six salad plates. Place an artichoke
heart in the center and a ball of the mixed vegetables on each heart.
Arrange two tomato slices on the plate on each side of the heart so
that the inside of the slice is against the heart. The end slices should
be placed skin side down. Chill the salads.
When ready to serve, form the 6 remaining anchovies into rings and
fill each with 1/2 teaspoon of the caviar. Spoon the vinaigrette over
each salad, then sprinkle on the minced egg, and finally place a
caviar-filled anchovy on the top of each ball. Serves 6.

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Pompano en Papillote

"Many a chef has created a dish,
but only God could have cooked that fish."
Cecil B. DeMille, in response to eating
Antoine's Pompano en Papillote

3 medium-sized pompanos*
3 cups water
1 chopped shallot or
2 tablespoons chopped onion
6 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups white wine
1 cup crabmeat
1 cup diced cooked shrimp
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
Pinch thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups fish stock
2 tablespoons flour
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper

* Fresh salmon, sea trout, or striped bass may
be used when pompano is unavailable

Clean pompanos and cut into 6 fillets, removing head and backbone.
Simmer heads and bones in water until there are 2 cups stock. Sauté
fillets with shallot in 2 tablespoons butter and add 2 cups wine. Cover
and simmer slowly until fillets are tender, about 5-8 minutes.
Sauté crabmeat, shrimp, and 1/4 clove garlic in 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and remaining garlic and cook 10 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, and
1 3/4 cups fish stock, and simmer 10 minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter, blend in flour, and gradually stir in remaining
1/4 cup fish stock. Add to crabmeat mixture with wine stock drained from
fillets. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Beat egg yolks and mix
with sauce and remaining 1/4 cup wine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill
in refrigerator until firm.
Cut 6 parchment hearts 12 inches long and 8 inches wide. Oil paper well. Place the sauce (divided into 6 portions) on one side of heart, lay fillet on
sauce, and fold over other half of paper. Seal edges of paper by folding
over and pinching together all around. Lay the sealed hearts on an oiled
baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F. 15 minutes, or until the paper
hearts are browned. Serve at once, cutting open paper at table. Serves 6.

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Café Brûlot Diabolique

One 1-inch stick cinnamon
8 whole cloves
Peel of 1 lemon, cut thin
3 lumps sugar
3 jiggers brandy
3 cups strong black coffee

In a brûlot bowl or chafing dish, place cinnamon, clove, lemon peel
and sugar. Put brandy into a ladle, ignite, and pour over ingredients in
bowl. Keep ladling brandy over ingredients until sugar is dissolved.
Gradually add coffee and continue ladling mixture until the flames
fade. Serve immediately. Makes 8 demitasse or brûlot cups.


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713-717 Rue Saint Louis, New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: (504) 581-4422, Fax: (504) 581-300,
Email: info@antoines.com

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Commander's Palace Recipes!
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