Recipes From The Heart No. 23

My palate expanded the moment I set foot in New Orleans at age 17. Then and now, it’s a place that encourages freedom to be myself and plunge into a fascinating world with few boundaries. The arts mesh with culinary traditions. Chefs and veteran professional waiters are held in the same high esteem as doctors and lawyers. Mimes, hookers, hot dog vendors, street artists, and red-faced street preachers thrive. Culinary history evolves without discarding gems from predecessors.

Brennan’s New Orleans is Restaurant Royalty

When Owen Brennan, the beloved proprietor of the Old Absinthe House, was teased by Count Arnaud that an Irishman’s culinary skills ended with boiled potatoes, he was determined to prove him wrong.

Brennan’s acclaimed Wine Cellar

Today, Brennan’s is both historic and contemporary, proof that fine dining remains proudly relevant. As other cities lose their traditional restaurants to lifestyle changes in a fast-paced world, New Orleans continues to embrace and support the grand establishments that perpetuate this art.

Eggs Hussarde

Recipe from Brennan’s Restaurant, New Orleans


For the marchand de vin sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

¼ cup finely chopped mushrooms

¼ cup finely chopped ham

¼ cup finely chopped shallots

¼ cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon flour

Salt to taste

Dash pepper

Dash cayenne

¾ cup beef stock

¼ cup red wine

For the hollandaise sauce:

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoon lemon juice

½ cup butter, melted

Salt and pepper

To assemble:

8 slices Canadian bacon, cooked

8 Reese Holland Rusk tea biscuits (or substitute english muffins)

8 slices tomato, broiled

8 soft poached eggs


Make the marchand de vin sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt butter and lightly sauté mushrooms, ham, shallots, onion, and garlic. When the onion is golden brown, add flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in stock and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook briefly until slightly thick. Keep sauce warm.

Make the hollandaise: In a stainless steel or heat-safe glass bowl, vigorously whisk egg yolks and lemon juice until mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler); water should not touch bottom of bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in melted butter and continue to whisk to make a smooth hollandaise. Remove from heat and season to taste. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Assemble: Lay a slice of bacon across each rusk and cover with marchand de vin sauce. Top with tomato and egg, then hollandaise.

Barbecue Shrimp and Grits

Eggs Hussarde

From 82 Queen, Charleston


2 pounds shrimp

1 tablespoon butter

Low country grits (recipe follows)

Bourbon barbecue sauce (recipe follows)

6 bacon strips, cooked and chopped

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 cup grated cheddar cheese


In a pan over medium heat, sauté shrimp in butter until opaque, about 1 minute. Serve over grits and drizzle with barbecue sauce. Garnish with bacon, scallions, and cheese.

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

¼ pound bacon, diced

½ cup diced onion

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon garlic powder

½ cup mustard

28 ounces ketchup

½ cup brown sugar

3-4 tablespoons bourbon

Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot or dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until halfway done. Add onions and sauté until softened and translucent and bacon is fully cooked. Add bourbon and carefully flambé to burn off the alcohol. When flame disappears, add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Sauce will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks.

Lowcountry Grits:

3 cups heavy cream

½ cup butter

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup stone-ground grits

In a pot over high heat, bring heavy cream and 3 cups water to a boil. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Slowly stir in grits and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching.

French 75

The French 75 Cocktail is for Breakfast


1 ounce gin

1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 ounce simple syrup

3 ounces Champagne (or other sparkling wine)

Garnish: lemon twist

Sir Verde McMaster is our Wine and Drinks Consultant

Sir Verde’s Wine and Drinks: The French 75 is served at breakfast. If you are dining at Brennan’s and just won the lottery, their renowned cellar has a 1995 Chateau Margeaux for $4,160.

Bonne dégustation. Love one another.

Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. |
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