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From the Chef: Christmas Dinner!

This holiday season, our chefs are sharing some of their own family recipes! Check this one out from Justin!

Beef tenderloin (serves about 15)

Have butcher clean one whole tenderloin (6-8#). Season with salt, pepper, Tony Chacherie’s, Montreal Steak Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and let sit overnight. Preheat grill and sear on high heat both sides. Pour marinade juices into a skillet and add 2 tablespoons margarine and 1 cup red wine. Bring to a boil then baste the meat as it cooks. Reduce heat and cook until thickest center piece is medium rare (135 degrees). The tails will be medium. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

Breaded cauliflower

Cut two heads of cauliflower. In a mixing bowl, make an egg wash of 3 eggs and 2 cups of milk. In another bowl, pour 4 cups Italian bread crumbs, 1 cup grated parmesan and season with Tony’s. Coat the cauliflower in the egg wash, then dredge in the bread crumbs.

Heat oil in either a fryer or a deep pot to 375. Drop in the cauliflower and cook until golden brown. Once done, remove from oil and set on a tray lined with paper towels and season with salt.

Shrimp reoulade salad
Dressing:
In the container of a food processor, combine 4 celery stalks, 4 green onions, 1 small yellow onion and 1 cup parsley. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup tomato puree, 1/2 cup creole mustard and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Process until well blended, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times. With the food processor running, drizzle 1.25cup canola oil in a steady stream, processing until blended. Stir in paprika. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight

Shrimp:

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 3 tbs salt, 2 sliced lemon, 2 fl oz liqiud seafood boil and 2 fl oz worchestire sauce. Let boil 10 minutes then add 3 ln 26-30 count peeled and deveined shrimp. Bring back to a boil and let cook 5-7 minutes, until shrimp turn pink. Drain the shrimp and run under cold water to stop cooking. Refrigerate.

Salad:

Thinly slice 2 heads of iceberg lettuce. Take the cooked shrimp and toss with the dressing. Place the shrimp over the lettuce, garnish with pieces of lemon and sliced green onion.

 

Bananas foster (serves four)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • 4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Directions:

  • Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet.
  • Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.
  • When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.
  • Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum.
  • When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream.
  • Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

One of Our Own Ties The Knot: New Orleans Wedding – Bailee & Ryan

We are so proud to share some images from our Marketing Coordinator, Bailee’s, fabulous New Orleans wedding to her beau, Ryan. The nuptials took place in a private ceremony at the Algiers Courthouse, and the following day the couple had a beautiful reception at the Bevolo Gaslight Museum! Photos below are by the wonderful Red Leaf Weddings!

 

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new orleans catering wedding bevolo

New Orleans wedding catering

new orleans wedding catering

new orleans wedding catering

new orleans wedding catering

new orleans wedding catering

new orleans wedding catering

new orleans wedding catering

A Recipe from the Chef: Bleu Cheese Cheesecake

Hello again! I’ve got another recipe up my sleeve that will keep you on top of your appetizer game. For a bridal shower, or baby shower, or anything of the like this recipe for Bleu Cheese Cheesecake is always a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 3# CREAM CHEESE
  • 2 CUPS CRUMBLES BLUE CHEESE, SOFTENED
  • ½ CUP GREEN ONIONS, CHOPPED
  • ¼ CUP PARSLEY, CHOPPED
  • 6 CLOVES GARLIC, CHOPPED
  • 4 WHOLE EGGS
  • ¼ CUP HALF AND HALF OR HEAVY CREAM
  • 3 TBSP TONY CHACHERE’S
  • 1 CUP ITALIAN BREAD CRUMBS
  • POMACE OLIVE OIL
  • 2 CUPS DRY APRICOTS, CHOPPED FINELY
  • 3 CUPS WALLNUTS, CHOPPED FINELY

 

Instructions:

  1. ADD OLIVE OIL TO BREAD CRUMBS UNTIL MOIST
  2. PRESS HALF OF MIXTURE INTO BOTTOM OF FOIL LINED 9 “ SPRING   PAN
  3. MIX FIRST 8 INGREDIENTS IN HOBAR
  4. FILL SPRING PAN HALF FULL OF MIXTURE
  5. GENTLY SPREAD CHOPPED APRICOTS EVENLY OVER MIXTURE
  6. SPREAD REMAINING MIXTURE OVER APRICOTS TO TOP OF PAN
  7. GENTLY TOP WITH CHOPPED WALLNUTS
  8. LOOSELY COVER WITH FOIL
  9. BAKE IN PREHEATED 350 DEGREE OVEN FOR 1 HOUR
  10. TURN OFF OVEN AND LET SIT FOR 15 MINUTES
  11. REMOVE FROM OVEN AND REFRIGERATE
  12. COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE CUTTING INTO WEDGES

 

Hope it’s a hit! Share pics with us on instagram: @toulousegourmet or on our Facebook page!

Chef Russ Spezial

 

A Recipe from the Chef: Summer Nicoise Salad

Nothing is better than a cool summer salad recipe when the dog days of summer are upon us.

This classic Parisian salad is typically prepared with tuna, and I felt that a chilled poached Salmon alternative may fit the bill  nicely, combined with the traditional garnishes, coupled with a few of my non traditional garnishes.

Paired with a simple Provencal rose, this is a wonderful light dinner or lunch dish to create. Although it appears to be a tad bit labor intensive, it is not, and once all of the prep is done, it comes together very fast,a nd can be produced in large amounts if you expect many guests.

Ingredients: 

  • fresh salmon fillets, bottom skin removed ( 6 ounces per guest)
  • Fresh  summer snap beans ( six per guest)
  • small red bliss potatoes( three per guest)
  • quartered artichoke hearts( six per guest)
  • if available, the best local summer tomatoes, sliced( two medallions per guest)
  • butter lettuce( enough per guest to line plate)
  • anchovy fillets( optional)
  • fresh  “semi hard ” boiled farm eggs, cut in quarters( one per guest)
  • cerignola black olives (available fresh at most good grocery stores)
  • home made pickled Kirby cucumbers (prepped before as sweet refrigerator pickles)
  • home made pickled vidalia onions (prepped before as sweet refrigerator onions)
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • shallot dijon vinaigrette dressing
  • crusty  french baguette (cut longways and drizzled with olive oil and  garlic)

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are oven roasted, which brings out the sugars during rationalization, and turns these veggies into golden sweet morsels of deliciousness!

Instructions:

  1. To begin, Get your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rub salmon with sea salt, pepper and  olive oil. Place on  sheet pan and roast in oven until slightly translucent( I prefer the Salmon to be on the “sushi” side of cooked, and very rare in the middle) Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Next, in a large mixing bowl, place snap beans, red bliss potatoes, and artichoke hearts , drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss them till all of your veggies are lightly coated. Place on  sheet pan and roast in oven until all veggies are slightly caramelized , but not too soft( artichokes will finish first, then snap beans , then potatoes. Remove accordingly)
  4. Toss in baguette until lightly crispy and golden.. Remove from oven and rub sides of bread with fresh garlic cloves to season.
  5. Arrange salmon, beans, potatoes, artichokes, and tomatoes over bed of butter lettuce. Garnish with black olives, anchovy fillets( optional) boiled eggs, pickled cucumbers,  and pickled onions, Lightly dress with Shallot vinaigrette. Serve with crusty warm bread.

 

BONUS! Here’s our Mason Jar Shallot Vinaigrette!

In a  small mason jar, combine olive oil, sherry or red wine vinegar( 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar), one finely  minced shallot, teaspoon of dijon mustard,  salt and pepper. Shake like crazy until dressing emulsifies. Taste to be sure not to acidic and adjust as needed!

 

And here’s our Granny’s Refigerator Pickles and Onions!

I make these ALL SUMMER LONG; and do not be afraid to use any veggies in your ice box (carrots, cauliflower, red peppers, green beans, etc.).

Again, make sure you start with clean mason jars with good lids.  There is no need to sterilize these jars, as you will only be storing pickles in them for no more than a week or two.

Instructions:

  1. Slice kirby cucumbers on the bias and fill jars pretty tightly.
  2. Slice vidalia onions into thin rings and also place in mason jars .
  3. On stove top, boil together equal parts of white distilled vinegar, white granulated sugar and garlic cloves (five needed per mason jar) until solution is clear, and garlic has softened
  4. Pour warm brine over cucumbers and onions. Let stand at room temp until cooled enough to put mason jar lids on, and refrigerate.

These are so so easy and will hold in the fridge for about two weeks, and they are the perfect summer “pickles” without the need to can according to standard methods of sterilizing, boiling and sealing jars.

 

Enjoy!
Chef Russ

A Recipe from the Chef: Gorgonzola Apricot Cheesecake

This is a relatively easy recipe. You can trick people into thinking you spent hours and hours preparing when in reality it will only take about 30 minutes of prep time. It’s perfect for

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup Green Onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 4 Whole Eggs
  • ¼ cup Half and Half
  • 3 tbsp Tony’s Seasoning
  • 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • Pomace Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cup dry Apricots, chopped finely
  • 2 cups Walnuts, chopped finely
  • 9” Spring Pan lined with foil.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add olive oil to bread crumbs until moist.
  3. Press half of mixture into bottom of foil lined spring pan.
  4. Mix first 8 ingredients in mixer.
  5. Fill half of pan with mixture.
  6. Gently spread chopped apricots evenly over mixture.
  7. Spread remaining mixture over apricots to top of pan.
  8. Top with chopped walnuts. Loosely cover with foil.
  9. Bake in over for 1 hour.
  10. Turn off oven and let sit for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  12. Refrigerate uncovered.
  13. Cool completely (roughly 2 hours) before cutting into wedges.
  14. Serve with water crackers.

 

I hope you enjoy!

Chef Russ Spezial

Tips for Hiring your New Orleans Caterer

Choosing a New Orleans caterer can be difficult. The sheer number of caterers and restaurants that offer catering is astounding. Here are a few pointers that we’ve found to be helpful over the years:

Check with your venue. Choosing the venue first in the event planning process is crucial. Some venues may have exclusive catering partners, or some may have a very valuable list of preferred vendors, which brings us to the next topic…

Get recommendations. The best way to find the caterer for you is by word of mouth. Ask your friends and family who they may have used recently. Also, always read online reviews on places like yelp.com, theknot.com, etc.

Know your budget. We can’t say this enough times. Most caterers are very willing to bend where they can to work with your menu to fit your budget, but some aren’t and you may as well weed those out before you waste your time.

Special needs and requests. Always check with the caterer to make sure they can make those special New Orleans dishes that you’re so looking forward to or if  you have specific religious beliefs or dietary concerns those need to be addressed up front.

Eat. Once you choose your caterer, the tasting is the best part. And when your event arrives, make sure you have time to sit down and taste the food, or at the very least, make sure they can pack you a geaux-box!

We hope these tips help, but the most important fact is that you need a caterer that communicate with you to figure out your needs.