'john besh' on Serious Eats

'International Influences on New Orleans Cuisine': NOLA History in Six Courses

"We want to tell a story with New Orleans," said chef John Currence, one of the men behind the phenomenal "'International Influences on New Orleans Cuisine" dinner at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. "The story of the special crazy-ass gumbo that is that city." Which means not only the French, Spanish, and modern American elements to the cuisine—but German, Sicilian, African, and Vietnamese as well. Come see the fantastic 6-course meal that these all-star chefs put together in tribute to their beloved city. More

Visiting the Fisheries of Southern Louisiana: Seafood Is Still Strong

After a whirlwind tour through the cities and fisheries of Southern Louisiana a couple weeks back, it's clear to me that the flow of misinformation and apprehension about the quality of the seafood coming from the Gulf of Mexico has been far more detrimental to the industry that the oil itself. Tasting my way through cities like Lake Charles, Houma, New Iberia, and New Orleans, it's clear that seafood is the heart and soul of the Cajun and Creole cuisine of the area—indeed, for a solid five days, I had blue crab in some form or another at every single meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) not to mention copious amounts of local shrimp, oysters, fish, and crawfish. More

Dinner Tonight: St. Joseph's Sawdust with Pasta

I know sawdust doesn't sound the least bit appetizing, but don't worry—this only looks like wood shavings. It's actually a highly flavored recipe with bread crumbs from John Besh's My New Orleans, and I couldn't wait to try it with pasta. The crumbs easily soak up whatever tossed on them—which in this recipe included pine nuts, parmesan, dried currents, cinnamon, crushed red pepper flakes, and oregano—making for a cheap and tasty meal. More

Cook the Book: St. Joseph's Fig Cookies

In honor of St. Joseph's Day, a feast day for the patron saint of cabinetmakers, engineers, Canada, and confectioners (which is where the sweets come in), try this recipe for St. Joseph's fig cookies. They're like a better, homemade version of Fig Newtons. The figginess is much less cloying and sticky and gets combined with a nice mix of sherry, orange, lemon, raisins, and walnuts. More

Cook the Book: Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

My New Orleans by John Besh includes no fewer than five recipes for gumbo, which isn't really all that shocking considering gumbo is the epitome of Louisiana cooking. This Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo starts with a roux made up of equal parts fat and flour that gets slowly cooked until the mix changes from a light tan to a deep, rich brown. More

Cook the Book: Beignets

When I first visited New Orleans several years ago, I was a strict vegetarian. That meant I missed out on almost all the city's iconic culinary offerings—gumbo, po'boys, even red beans and rice. But not beignets. Light, sweet, and incredibly messy from the heavy dusting of powdered sugar they were finished with, they were entirely memorable. With the help of John Besh's beignet recipe, I stroll down memory lane. More

Cook the Book: Pork Shoulder Rillettes

The chapter devoted to all things porcine in My New Orleans by John Besh is called Boucherie, and has several delicious-sounding pork-based charcuterie projects including these Pork Shoulder Rillettes. This version slow cooks pork butt with chicken stock, lard, wine, and a few other aromatics until it's tender enough to shred into a million tasty little pieces. More

Fast 'Times'

The New York Times has some good reading in the dining section today: Bottoms up! A quick history of Jerry Thomas, innovating showman bartender of the 1800s. Chefs on their favorite H'ween candy: What they're giving out, what they hoped for as kids, what fantasy treat they'd make. New Orleans chef John Besh profiled: A great backgrounder if you only know him from Next Iron Chef. Seems like a good guy. The Pour explores Portuguese Douro reds: What port would taste like if not fortified and left sweet. Make Roasted Marrow Bones à la Fergus Henderson: Mark "Minimalist" Bittman tells you how. Wegman's sets farmed shrimp standards: It will be the first supermarket chain to adopt environmental and health standards.... More

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