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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Louisiana Products at there peak!

Here in Louisiana we have an abundance of local ingredients just waiting to make there way to your table. Some of my favorites for this time of year is our Ponchatoula Strawberries and Fresh Sugar cane that was harvested a couple months back and hitting the shelf at its freshest state. With sSummer time around the corner this brings healthy eating to mind and salads to my mind. Below is a salad that I find to focus on those two great ingredients and is great for you and you palate. Enjoy these great local ingredients to there fullest and let your imagination run wild with culinary creativity.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
w/Sugar Cane Vinaigrette
1# Fresh Spinach leaves
1 pint strawberries (cut in ¼” slices)
3oz Blue Cheese Crumbles
2oz Chopped Walnuts
Toss Spinach leaves in a large mixing bowl with strawberries and Sugar cane Vinaigrette. Once all leaves are lightly coated top with Blue Cheese crumbles and chopped Walnuts. Top your salad with grilled chicken or blackened shrimp for light entree choice.
Sugar cane Vinaigrette:
                1/2 cup vinegar
                1/2 cup cane syrup
                1/3 cup mustard
                1 teaspoon garlic
                1 cup oil
Combine vinegar, mustard, garlic and syrup with blender. On medium speed slowly add oil till completely blended.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lobster Napoleon

The Lobster Napoleon is a great Appetizer or entree for a dinner party or for that special evening at home. This recipe can be modified so many different ways to accommodate anyone. The lobster could be any other protein if lobster is unavailable (lump crab meat, shrimp, crawfish, scallops, etc.). I also have swapped the eggplant for green tomatoes turning this recipe into a whole new dish by changing one component. Cook with passion and use local ingredients and you cant go wrong!

Lobster Napoleon
Yield: 1 order


1 eggplant
2 cups corn flour
1qt buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1qt olive oil

4 oz cooked lobster meat (chopped 1/2”- 1”)
1 cup heavy cream
4oz unsalted butter (cut in 1” cubes)
2tbsp fresh basil (chiffonade 1/8”)
1tsp fresh garlic
1oz white wine

Preheat frying oil (olive oil) to 350°. Peel one eggplant and slice ½” wheels and set aside one small, medium and large cuts. Place wheels set aside in buttermilk to soak while preparing the sauce and lobster.  Heat small skillet over medium heat with 2 oz of butter, add garlic and lobster meat, sauté till meat is heated and absorbs flavors, deglaze pan with white wine. Add remaining butter and basil, continue cooking till butter is all melted and basil begins to wilt. Pour cream in pan and lower heat to reduce cream by half. While reducing sauce remove eggplant from buttermilk and dredge in corn flour, shake off excess flour and place carefully in fryer for 3 minutes then flip for another 3 minutes. Remove eggplant and place on paper towel to absorb excess grease, season with salt and pepper.  Sauce should be considerably thicker now, remove from heat and set aside. Place largest wheel down on plate first and top with 1oz lobster meat, place medium wheel on top of meat and add another ounce of meat on top of it. The smallest wheel will be last with lobster meat on it then drizzle the cream sauce all over letting it run down all side. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.