I have a large collection of cookbooks. I get this from my mother who also had a large collection. I often look through them to get inspiration for dishes. This is where the genesis of today’s article came from. I received a copy of the New Orleans School of Cooking cookbook from some dear friends, Loretta and Glenn Pollard. So I took two recipes from there to share with you today.
The New Orleans School of Cooking is the premier hands on school for people wanting to learn some classic dishes. The first one, Frog Legs Provencal, is a great way to sauté these meaty morsels. The second one, Chicken Creole, is a twist on a classic New Orleans dish. So gather up your ingredients, and Let’s head to the kitchen!
Frog Legs Provencal
I am the type of person who can’t get enough of frog legs. More often than not, you will find them fried. Here’s a tasty way to prepare them without a large amount of oil for frying. No, they do not taste like chicken.
18 pairs medium frog legs
1 quart milk
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup parsley sprigs, minced
Place the frog legs in large bowl and cover with milk. Season generously with salt and pepper. It will take several hours for legs to thaw, so you might as well do this in the morning. Thaw at room temperature. Fifteen minutes before dinner is to be served, lift the legs from the milk and dry on a clean dish towel. Mix up several tablespoons of flour with a good seasoning of salt and pepper in a large plastic bag. Add the legs, shake until lightly coated. Heat enough olive oil in a large heavy skillet to make a light film on the bottom. When hot, sauté the legs a few at a time, until nicely brown and crisp all over, four to five minutes. Add more oil as it is needed. Lift from the pan to a heated platter and keep warm in the oven.
While you sauté the legs, cut the butter into pieces and heat in a second skillet over low heat. When hot, add minced garlic. The butter and garlic will gradually turn a golden brown. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, then add parsley. Pour over the frog legs and serve at once with a lemon wedge.
When I think of a dish cooked Creole style, I always think of Shrimp Creole. The sauce is so good, you can substitute any seafood or poultry for your protein. Here’s a recipe for those of you who aren’t seafood eaters. Yes, this does taste like chicken.
3 pounds boned chopped chicken
1 cup chopped parsley
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon thyme
8 tablespoons flour
1 (14-16ounce) can tomato sauce
3 bay leaves
2 cups chopped onions
3 cup chicken stock
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup chopped green onions
Joe’s Stuff seasoning (Creole seasoning)
Sauté chicken in butter for 2-3 minutes and remove. Add the flour and stir over medium heat until lightly browned.
Add onions, celery, green pepper and garlic and sauté vegetables until they begin to turn transparent. Add stock, tomato sauce, thyme basil, bay leaves, brown sugar, and seasoning. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add green onions, parsley and chicken during the last five minutes of cooking. Serve over rice.
You may have noticed in the Chicken Creole recipe a Creole seasoning called Joe’s Stuff. This blend was created by the founder of the New Orleans School of Cooking, the late Joe Cahn. You can order it online to get the original taste of the dish or you can use another Creole seasoning blend. Either way, you will be eating some good down home New Orleans dishes. I know Joe would be smiling down on you.