The book is arranged by holidays, festivals and various celebrations in New Orleans throughout the year, which is a very cool and unique to organize a cookbook so it can be different. The arrangement makes it difficult for the home cook trying to find things and compare to make a decision on what to cook.
John Besh's "New Orleans" is quite different than mine...many of his ingredients are hard to come by or are very pricey for the average Jane like me who has to feed picky eaters in the blink of any eye.
On the rare occasion, which aren't so rare any more, when the homegirlz are both out on the same night, I can let loose and do my thang! Did you know my oldest is part of the workforce now? Yes, the one or two days (4 or 8 hour shifts) a week selling clothing at a popular retail chain make her feel like all she does is work, work, work...what a diva!
Ok, back to my thang...I made a loose facsimile of one of Chef John Besh's recipes and I mean to tell you it was eyes rolling in the back of your head good!
Let's wipe the drool off our chins and cook some fish!
1 cup AP flour
3 tablespoons Emeril's Essence or your favorite Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 Tilapia fillets - Trout or Orange Roughy would be amazing too
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
4 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms or any kind of mushroom you have on hand
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 lemon juiced
Couple dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce or Franks Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1/2 cup mock Hollandaise sauce (recipe below)
Make the Hollandaise.
1/2 cup mayo
Juice from half of a lemon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Couple dashed of hot sauce
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Whisk everything together...adjust with yellow mustard, cayenne and onion powder so the sauce has a slightly tart to popping taste (not spicy). Do not substitute Dijon for yellow mustard. I did that and it was terrible....use yellow mustard, trust me. Leave the Hollandaise out on the counter, you want it to come up to room temperature.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine flour and two tablespoons of Cajun seasoning in a large flat dish. Beat the egg and milk together in another dish. Put the Panko bread crumbs and the third tablespoon (maybe a teaspoon more)
in a third dish.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and dredge through the seasoned flour, then the egg mixture and then through the bread crumbs.
Cook the fish until golden brown on both sides, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side then transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. You may need to add a couple more drops of olive oil as you are cooking the fish. The Panko does absorb the oil.
Once you have removed the fish from the skillet, drain off any excess oil and return skillet to the stove and reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter and the mushrooms and allow to cook for 3 to four minutes, then add the shallots, pepper flakes and garlic. Stir frequently and allow to cook about 3 to 5 minutes, until soft but not taking on any color. Add the artichokes and the lemon juice and a little bit of salt and cook another 3 to five minutes but keep the artichoke hearts from breaking up. Season with salt and pepper, then fold in the chives.
Warm plates in the microwave for about 35 seconds per plate (Yeah, I know, it's like we're fine dining in an upscale restaurant and we're just in my little kitchen).
Drizzle, ok slightly ladle the Hollandaise on the plate, then top it with a healthy serving of the artichoke and mushroom mixture. Place the fish fillet on top and add some more artichokes and mushrooms on top of the fish.
Now giving up meat on Fridays during Lent ain't so bad after all!