New Orleans


This Thanksgiving, the JohnnyCakes and I decided to skip all the Whose-Family-Gets-To-Feed-Us-First drama, so we went to New Orleans!

For our Thanksgiving dinner, we ate at the fantabulous M Bistro  at the Ritz Carlton in new Orleans.  I took pictures.  It was AMAZING!

Amouse Bouche:

Escargot Croquet Madame

with organic quail egg and gruyere cheese

It was DIVINE.  It was like a tiny little escargot lasagna…  Made with toast instead of pasta.  But totally yumtastic.

First course:

Acorn Squash Bisque

with sultana marshmallow and pumpkin toast

This is seriously one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long, long time.  It had MARSHMALLOWS!!!!  How can you not like anything that has marshmallows in it???   This soup was sweet, creamy, marshmallowy, and the pumpkin toast croutons gave it a nice kick of texture.  I’ve asked the chef for the recipe.  Crossing my fingers in hopes that he provides…

Second Course:

Shrimp stuffed Mirliton

with warm andouille remoulade

 

My first question for the waiter was, “What the heck is a mirliton???”  And you know what?  He didn’t know either!  (That’s why he gave me the food and drink manager’s business card!  So that I could get the recipe from him!  Ha!)

So thanks to dictionary.com, I have found out what a mirliton is.  Ready?

   
   

(It’s a chayote squash.)

So anyway, this was basically a peeled, cooked half of a chayote squash, stuffed with chopped shrimp and something resembling mayonnaise, covered with panko (I think) and browned on top.

It was pretty good.  A little too mayonaissey, but not unlike your average shrimp salad stuffed into a squash shell.

Note to Waitstaff: KNOW YOUR FOOD.  Ugh.

Third Course:

Horseradish Crusted Prime Rib

with twice-baked potato, shiitake-green bean casserole, and bone marrow espagnole

Yeah.

Johnny opted for the standard turkey breast dinner with the standard accoutrements, but I decided to get something a little different.

The prime rib was perfectly cooked, the potatoes were light and airy, and the green bean casserole was KILLER.  I’m SO glad I didn’t get the turkey!

Fourth Course:

White Chocolate Spiced Apple Mousse

with carmelized bourbon apples and chocolate-hazelnut sorbet


I didn’t much care for the dessert, honestly.  The mousse was more like stale pudding, and although the crust added some interesting flavor and texture (it was like a soft granola bar with bourbon), the chocolate sorbet kind of ruined it.  It was WAY too chocolatey, and it didn’t really complement the apple flavors at all.

Fifth Course:

Seasonal chocolate truffles


There were six of these suckers.  And in other fine dining establishments that I’ve visited, the waiter at least TELLS you what flavors the truffles are when he puts them on your table.  At Stephan Pyles, there was a lavender one, a peanut butter (I think) one, and “the chef’s take on an Oreo cookie.”  See?  I still remember!

So waitstaff, when you hurl a plate of random truffles at a customer, PLEASE tell them what the flavors are supposed to be!

Johnny and I resorted to biting into each one and leaving a bunch of uneaten truffle halves on the plate.

Just sayin’.

But all in all, this was an AMAZING dinner, and if you are ever in New Orleans, go to M Bistro!  It’s well worth the trip!

Beignets at Cafe du Monde!!!

Yum!

 

The day after Thanksgiving, we scooted over to Brennan’s for brunch!

I got the Eggs Shannon, which was sort of like an Eggs Benedict.  That is, if you replaced the Canadian bacon with fried trout, and replaced the English muffins with creamed spinach..

Doesn’t this look amazing???

For dessert (yes, dessert.  This is BRUNCH, remember??), we got the Bananas Foster.  After all, Bananas Foster was friggin’ INVENTED at Brennan’s!

So here’s how you make it:

Ooooooooh….!

Aaaaaaah…!

And this is what you get:

Oh, you wanted a recipe???

Okay:

(Recipe  shamelessly ripped from their website…)

This is the actual Bananas Foster recipe from the original source and creator of this dessert: Brennan’s Restaurant. In 1951, Chef Paul created Bananas Foster. The scrumptious dessert was named for Richard Foster, who served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission. Richard Foster was a frequent customer of Brennan’s and a very good friend of Owen.

BANANAS FOSTER

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup banana liqueur
  • 4 bananas, cut in half
    lengthwise, then halved
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

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 Bananas Fosterand 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.