One of the things you have to embrace when you come to Louisiana, is the food; there's nothing else like it anywhere else! New Orleans is known for their wonderfully warm, smothered in powdered sugar Beignets, Crawfish cooked every which way, spicy Gumbo, and the traditional New Orleans sandwich, the Muffaletta.
Everywhere you turn the smells joined the sounds coming from every cafe & restaurant along every street in and out of the Quarter. I couldn't get enough. Even Jack, who is the pickiest eater ever, found wonderful dishes to savour. So, when we found a brochure for a cooking class, I nabbed it and read on. Seems that lots of us would love to learn "how they do it" enough to at least make a dish or two after we leave this wonderful city. The New Orleans School of Cooking offers morning and afternoon demonstration classes every day of the week, and...you get to eat what is made! Yum, count me in!
My class was on Corn & Crab Bisque; Chicken Etouffee (means to "smother"); and Pralines. All dishes that I knew Jack would eat (no crawfish for that boy!). The school and General Store (all the spices and supplies you will want to add for your new found skills) are located in a renovated molasses warehouse built in the early 1800s in the heart of the French Quarter. Chef Michael was a delight, entertaining, educating (did you know that if your dish got a little to spicy or to salty, you could just add cream sherry to counter it? I didn't) and a great chef! All the dishes prepared were outstanding, full of flavor without being to "hot" or spicy, easily explained and with just enough history and comic additions to make it really fun. Since I'm "known" for my soups, and will definitely add this one to my menu, let me share it with you.
CHEF MICHAEL'S CORN AND CRAB BISQUE
1 Cup Flour
1/2 lb Butter
1 Quart heavy cream
Enough stock to cover corn (and a little extra)
1 lb Crab meat (claw)
1/2 Cup Chopped garlic
1 Cup Chopped green onion
2 lb Whole Corn Frozen
1 Cup chopped parsley (for garnish)
Joe's seasoning to taste (this is their Seasoning Mix - you can use any special mix that you like, or go on line and order from their store)
Shrimp and Crab Boil to taste (this is also a product they sell, but you might be able to find it in specialty stores. It's a mild hot sauce)
Put corn in pot and cover with stock. Bring to a boil and add garlic, Joe's stuff, and 1/4 Cup of the green onions. Reduce to simmer for about 30 min. Cut corn from cobs. (you can use already cut corn, he just felt it was more flavorful this way)
Make a roux with equal parts of butter and flour to desired color (his note on site: it will smell like cooked dough); add in your simmering pot. Adjust thickness with stock. Add cream and heat to almost a boil. Add Crab and cook about 5 min. Add crab boil to taste.
Note: Use the other half of your green onions and the parsley for garnish
Makes 6-8 Servings
...kicking back in Louisiana, Marie