Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day - New Orleans Style

New Orleans isn't big on Valentine's Day. This is because normally, the holiday falls somewhere in between our beloved Carnival season and ends up being neglected for parades and festivities. Maybe New Orleanians treat ourselves to dinner at one of our world famous restaurants; maybe we catch some red, heart shaped beads. It's not usually a big affair. And even though Valentines Day is on a Tuesday this year, and there are no parades on Tuesday, it does happen to be exactly one week before Fat Tuesday and consequently right in the swing of our carnival things. Even so, this year the city is offering some exciting new opportunities for the hopeless romantics, those looking for something new to do this Tuesday.

NOCCA is presenting "Valentine's For Singles". A fun, romantic concert by top classical and jazz musicians. A performance by the Institute's classical music students will precede the concert and the audience is invited to stick around after the show to sample sweet treats by Chef Dana D’Anzi Tuohy and the culinary students.
There are always classics like a sunset stroll along the moonwalk, a carriage ride through the French Quarter, a culinary treat at a renowned restaurant, or a corner booth at a dimly lit jazz club. And for the homebodies, who prefer to stay in, here's our favorite romantic menu: 

 Course One:
 P&J Louisiana Oysters on the half-shell.
Serve them on ice, with lemon. That's it. They are that good.

Course Two: 
Savory Foie Gras Creme Brulee.
The intense flavor of the foie gras combined with the smooth richness of the custard will have your mouth melting.

Course Three: 
John Besh's Louisiana Blackfish with Sweet Corn and Caviar

Here's the recipe:

From My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh, (Andrews McMeel, 2009)Serves 6
Blackfish is a wonderful delicacy, white and flaky, a fish that doesn't need much coaxing. (Striped bass or snapper is a good substitute.) I like to combine blackfish with my friend John Burke's Louisiana caviar roe from local paddlefish and bowfin, or choupiquet, from the Atchafalaya River.

For the corn pudding:
Cooking spray
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups (from 7-8 ears) Silver Queen corn kernels
1-2 pinches cayenne pepper
8 eggs

For the sauce:
2 cups Basic Fish Pan Sauce
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
1 cup (from 3-4 ears) Silver Queen corn kernels
1 tablespoon butter

For the fish:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 4-ounce blackfish filets
Juice of 1 lemon

For the corn and crab sauté:
6 ears baby corn, blanched and sliced into rounds
1 cup jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
2 tablespoons butter
1 dash Tabasco
2 tablespoons (or more) Louisiana Caviar

Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh dill
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh chervil

For the corn pudding, preheat the oven to 275°. Spray six 2-3-ounce ramekins with cooking spray and set aside.
Put the cream and corn into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the corn and cream into a blender and purée until smooth. Add the cayenne and salt. With the motor running, add the eggs through the feed hole in the blender lid, blending the purée until the eggs are completely incorporated.

Divide the corn purée between the prepared ramekins. Set the ramekins in a pan large enough to hold them and fill the pan with enough hot water so that it comes halfway up the side of each. Bake the corn puddings until they are set, about 20 minutes. Remove the puddings from the hot water bath and set aside.
For the sauce, put the Fish Pan Sauce, lemongrass, and corn into a medium saucepan and simmer over moderate heat for 15 minutes. Add the butter and season with salt. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan, discarding the solids. Keep the sauce warm in a warm spot on the stove.
For the fish, heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over moderate heat. Score the skin of each blackfish filet in several places, then season the filets with lemon juice and salt. 
Cook the fish in the skillet, skin side down, until it is not quite cooked through, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook on the flesh side for about 2 minutes more. (The cooking times depend on the desired level of doneness; I'm always wary of overcooking.) Transfer the fish to paper towels to drain.
For the corn and crab sauté, return the skillet used for frying the fish to medium-high heat. Add the corn, crab, and butter and sauté until hot. Add the Tabasco and season with salt. Set aside.
Unmold the corn puddings into each of 6 wide warmed soup bowls. Place a fish filet over each pudding. Put a heaping spoonful of the corn and crab sauté over each piece of fish.
To froth the warm sauce, use an electric hand mixer and half-submerge the beaters in the sauce. Beat on high speed until a froth forms. Ladle the froth around the fish in each bowl.
Top each dish with a small dollop of Louisiana Caviar and sprigs of chervil and dill and chive blossoms if you like.

Course Four:
Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bread Pudding


Bon Appetit! 
& Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Vision

    Our Vision is to execute special events with the utmost in food quality, presentation, patron service and service to our client which will result in our client achieving their goals for the event.

       Established in 1981, we have built a firm reputation based on a rich heritage of traditional New Orleans and Louisiana cuisine, innovative and unique menu offerings, consistent industry leading event service, coordinated table and event décor and impeccable attention to our clients, goals, challenges and expectations.
            Serving clients in just about every imaginable sphere including the President of the United States, U.S. House Speakers, U.S. Senators, & U.S. Department of Defense; A number of National Pharmaceutical companies such as Allergen, Bausch & Lomb, Roche, & Parke Davis;  A variety of National Associations- The Federal Bar, American Bar, National Association of Architects, National Conference of State Legislators, CTIA Association, National Association of Governing Boards, American Museum Association, American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Foundation of Infectious Diseases, National Auto Dealers-; National & International Companies such as Rolls Royce, Keebler Corporation, Transamerica, Monsanto Corporation, B.F. Goodrich, Sprint PCS, and Bellsouth; the global oil industry companies including Chevron, Chevron International, Texaco and Taylor Energy. We have worked with National Event Planning Companies from all over the United States.
            Locally in New Orleans, we have catered and custom designed hundreds of weddings in nearly every venue in and around town. We have served every major law firm, hospital, bank, car dealership, and university, as well as, some of the most prominent New Orleans based companies such as Stewart Enterprises, Lykes Company, Lockheed Martin, Tidewater Marine, etc. Our history has been assisting clients such as these in achieving specific goals for their events and advancing their vision and mission on a consistent, repetitive basis.
            One of the greatest advantages of partnering with New Orleans Catering is food quality. We are considered an industry leader in this area. A considerable portion of menus are finished or prepared on the event site. From our base kitchen facility, food is prepared fresh and production/prep begins 24 to 36 hours prior to your event with the freshest quality products available.

We are passionate about what we do, and take tremendous pride in who we are.

Terry Sistrunk

Sabine Bellew
Director of Sales & Marketing

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