Eat to the Beat at the New Orleans Jazz Festival
(Page 2 of 2)
Slice off artichoke stems and remove all the leaves. Steam or boil the artichoke bottoms (they are also called "hearts") until tender, (about 20 minutes). Scoop out the furry "choke."Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Mound creamed spinach on four plates and top with two warm artichoke bottoms. Set a poached egg in each artichoke, spoon hollandaise over each eggs and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
10 ounces fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, and chopped
1-1/2 cups onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups scalded milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large sautpan; add the spinach and cook over medium heat a few minutes until wilted.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until tender. Using a whisk, blend the flour into the mixture; gradually pour in the milk. Stir until smooth; stir in spinach. Season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. When the mixture is thick and warmed through, remove it from heat and serve.
1 pound butter
4 egg yolks
1-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons water
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; skim milk solids from the top of the butter. Keep butter over very low heat while preparing the egg yolks.
Place egg yolks, vinegar, cayenne, and salt in a large stainless steel bowl and whisk briefly. Fill a saucepan (large enough to accommodate the bowl) with about 1 inch of water. Heat the water to a simmer. Set the bowl in the saucepan over the water; do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk egg yolk mixture until slightly thickened, then drizzle the clarified butter into the yolks, whisking constantly. If the bottom of the bowl becomes hotter than warm to the touch, remove the bowl from the pan of water for a few seconds and let cool. When all the butter is incorporated and the sauce is thick, beat in the water. Serve immediately or keep in a warm place until ready to use.
- Adapted from 'Breakfast at Brennan's and Dinner, Too.' (1994, Brennan's Inc.)
Cajun or Creole - What's the Difference?
Fred Halliday's useful and engaging gastronomic guide,"New Orleans Food Explorer" (1996, Fodor's) offers this explanation of the often-misunderstood difference between Cajun and Creole:
The two main thrusts of the New Orleans food empire - its most enduring and stable - are Cajun French and Creole French. Cajuns and Creoles alike speak the French language but that is about all they have in common. The cuisine that the Cajuns produced did not grow out of their French heritage, but from this new experience and place. It was natural, economical, and simple; the basis was an improvisational creativity with the natural raw materials at hand.
The Creole French, on the other hand - those arriving after the French Revolution - came directly from France. They brought haute cuisine with them. True, they found superb ingredients new to them in their New Orleans home, but these they bent toward French treatment and taxonomy. What they produced was a complex cuisine that was sophisticated and artful and as elegant as themselves (just ask them.) When ice became too expensive in the sultry, Southern capital (once going from $6 to $65 a pound), Creoles went as far as to sew broken glass into cheesecloth to float in water so it would tinkle in the glass. (Few guests noticed the trick.) In cuisine today they are also tricky. They put puff pastry around a costly black truffle; few notice the truffle is really an olive. But they are very charming, and their cuisine is full of surprises, and never too far from its French heritage.