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.
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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.
In this recipe for Trout Amandine, trout fillets are dredged in flour, pan fried in browned butter, and finished with parsley, lemon juice, and toasted almonds.
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.
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.
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.