Recipe of the Month

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Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter which includes links to new recipes, or get them all at once by purchasing the Café Reconcile cookbook next time YOU stop by for lunch!

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Café Reconcile is home to some of New Orleans’ best southern and soul food. Though your best bet is always to get it here in the Café, we thought you might like to try some of our recipes yourself at home. From time to time we’ll post a new recipe here. Cook a meal for your family, neighbors, or co-workers, tell them about our mission of reconciliation, and ask them to join our cause!


September 2014

Honey-Basted Chicken »

The sweet and savory taste of honey and red wine vinegar mixes perfectly with oregano, basil, and thyme leaves to make this month’s recipe a delicious fall classic.

Honey-Basted Chicken

1 cup of honey
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Whisk together honey, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, garlic,
oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Toss with chicken and marinate for 4 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Drain. Place
on baking sheet and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Baste while
cooking.


August 2014

Shrimp Mosca »

This delicious entree will leave you wanting more after the the first bite. The seasonings keep this dish light and compliments just about anything.

Shrimp Mosca
2 pounds large (21-30 count) Louisiana shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tails left on
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 bay leaves
6-10 cloves unpeeled garlic, mashed
1/2 cup dry white wine
French bread

Procedure:

Add the shrimp, oil, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic to a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes until shrimp are pink and the liquid in the pan is nearly gone.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the wine. Cook at a low simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve the shrimp hot with the pan juices. Use french bread to mop up the sauce.


July 2014

Shrimp and Black-eyed Pea Cakes »

This delicious twist on a couple southern classics brings a whole new bark to hush-puppies! Whip up a batch of these to go with any chicken or fish summer dish.

hushpuppies

Ingredients:

2 packages jalapeño hush puppy mix
1 pound small cooked shrimp,
roughly chopped
3 tablespoons pickled jalapeño peppers diced
2 cans black-eyed peas with juice
4 strips fried bacon roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce, to taste

Procedure:

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to
make forming cakes easier. Form into 2×2-inch flat cakes and place
into 350ºF oil. Deep-fry or pan-fry approximately 3 to 4 minutes or
until golden brown. Serve with rémoulade sauce.

Rémoulade Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Creole mustard
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure:

In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.


May 2014

Recipe of the Month: Homemade Potato Salad »

3 pounds potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked until just tender
6 hard boiled eggs, cooled, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped celery,
optional for “crunch”
Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise (a little more or less, as desired)
2 tablespoons prepared mustard (Dijon preferred)
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons Italian dressing
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine potatoes, eggs, onions, and celery. Mix all dressing ingredients
together in a separate bowl. Add dressing a little at a time to potatoes, until
you like the flavor and consistency. Garnish with paprika, and/or top with thinly
sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Serve immediately or refrigerate until served.

It’s picnic season! Whip up a bowl of this delicious homemade potato salad for your next church picnic, family reunion, barbecue, or any other event!

Ingredients:

3 pounds potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked until just tenderpotato salad

6 hard boiled eggs, cooled, chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped celery,

optional for “crunch”

Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise (a little more or less, as desired)

2 tablespoons prepared mustard (Dijon preferred)

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

2 tablespoons Italian dressing

salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure:

Combine potatoes, eggs, onions, and celery. Mix all dressing ingredients

together in a separate bowl. Add dressing a little at a time to potatoes, until

you like the flavor and consistency. Garnish with paprika, and/or top with thinly

sliced tomatoes and cucumber. Serve immediately or refrigerate until served.


April 2014

Recipe of the Month: Sizzling Gambas al Pil Pil »

Try this surprisingly simple yet exotic sounding shrimp and pastry dish this April!

recipe shrimp

Ingredients:

6 large puff pastry shells
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 pound large (16–20 count) Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
(approximately 15 shrimp)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
chopped chives, for garnish

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake pastry shells until pale golden, about 12 minutes.

Add the olive oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and black pepper and sauté until they just pink, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to low. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add lemon juice and sherry. Add parsley. Divide the shrimp evenly into pastry shells. Serve at once. Garnish with chives.


March 2014

Recipe of the Month: Papa’s Fried Catfish »

Do Friday Fish Fries make you want to fry your own catfish this Lent?

Try Papa’s recipe and you’ll be glad you did!

catfish

Ingredients

3 pounds wild-caught Louisiana catfish filets
salt, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste
flour, as needed
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 medium-size yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced (separate into rings)
lemon wedges, for garnish
tartar sauce, to serve

Procedure

Rinse the catfish in cool water and pat dry. Season the fish generously with salt and cayenne. Combine the flour and cornmeal in a shallow bowl and season with salt and cayenne. Pour the milk into another shallow dish.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet to about 360ºF. Dip the catfish, 2 to 3 at a time, into the milk, then dredge in the cornmeal mixture,tapping off any excess. Let sit for about 1 minute, then fry (2 to 3 pieces at a time) in the hot oil.

Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Scatter several onion rings over the fish as they cook and squeeze lemon juice over them. Repeat the process until all the fish is cooked. Serve warm with tartar sauce.


February 2014

Recipe of the Month: Creole Cream Cheese Gnocchi with Crawfish »

Learn to make creole cream cheese gnocchi with crawfish this February!

Makes 4 servings.creole cream cheese gnocchi

Gnocchi Ingredients

1 1-pound Russet potato
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional
for work surface and dough
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Creole cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Crawfish Sauce Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
8 ounces cooked Louisiana crawfish tails
2 ounces tasso, minced
2 ounces chanterelle mushrooms,
coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Creole cream cheese
1 teaspoon truffle oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped

Procedure

To prepare the gnocchi, cover the whole potato with salted cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and cook until tender; drain. Hold the hot potato in your hand with a kitchen towel and peel away only the skin with a knife. Run the potato through a ricer or a food mill. Combine potato with 1 1/4 cups flour, butter, Creole cream cheese, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and stir with a rubber spatula for about 15 seconds until smooth and the flour is completely incorporated. Add the egg yolks and stir for 15 seconds more, being careful not to overwork the dough.
Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and cut it into eight portions.
Working with one portion at a time, and rolling your hands back and forth, outward from the center to the ends, roll the dough into a long thin strand, about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut each dough strand into 1/2-inch pieces and sprinkle the tops lightly with flour. (Add as little flour as possible to prevent sticking.) Lift gnocchi from the work surface using the edge of a large knife or bench scraper and transfer to a baking sheet.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add all the gnocchi to the water, stirring, and cook, undisturbed, for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes, until the gnocchi start to float. Remove with a slotted spoon or strainer and place in an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain the gnocchi, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with oil. Gnocchi can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and chilled or frozen. Toss the gnocchi with extra vegetable oil to prevent sticking if you are making it ahead.

To prepare the Crawfish Sauce, heat a large skillet over medium high heat about 1 minute. Add the butter and shallots and cook about 30 seconds until shallots are wilted. Add the crawfish, tasso, mushrooms, and Creole seasoning and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Add the gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes, until gnocchi are hot and sauce is thickened slightly. Stir in the Creole cream cheese, truffle oil, and tarragon and cook for 30 seconds. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

Chef’s notes: If you can’t get Creole cream cheese, substitute sour cream or crème fraîche. When making gnocchi, you need to work fast because if the potato in the dough gets cold, it gets too starchy and sticky to work with and won’t bind with the other ingredients.


December 2013

Recipe of the Month: Cajun Pulled Pork Mini Tacos »

It’s a whole new year! How about a new recipe to start off the year right?

These delicious tacos will have hungry mouths asking for more!

Cajun Pulled Pork Tacos

RECIPE MAKES 10 TACOS.

Ingredients:

1 2-pound pork shoulder (Boston butt)
2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
Cajun seasoning, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 rib celery, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
2 onions, small dice
1 whole garlic, bulb split
5 sprigs thyme
1 quart pork stock
10 large flour or corn tortillas
oil for frying
Guacamole (recipe follows)
Salsa Fresca (recipe follows)
lime wedges, for serving

Procedure:

Generously rub pork shoulder with Liquid Smoke, then Cajun seasoning. Let sit, refrigerated, overnight.
Add the olive oil to a sauté pan set over medium-high heat.
Add the celery, onions, and carrots and cook until lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme
sprigs, and pork stock. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.
Add the pork shoulder, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3 hours or until fork tender. When finished,
shred the pork into large chunks with two forks.
Preheat a deep fryer to 350°F.
Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut 5-inch circles out of the large tortillas. Fry the rounds in oil until crisp
and light brown. Immediately invert each round and fit the tortillas between the grates of an oven rack to bend
them into taco shells. Allow to cool.
Layer ingredients in each shell in the following order: pork, guacamole, salsa fresca. To serve, alternate
tacos and lime wedges in a row. The lime wedges will keep the tacos upright.

Guacamole:

MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS

2 Haas avocados
1/2 small red onion, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 a lime (about 1 tablespoon)

Mash the avocados until a puréed texture is achieved. Blend thoroughly with the onion, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Salsa Fresca:

MAKES ABOUT 2 1/2 CUPS

kernels scraped from 2 ears fresh, raw
corn (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 cup minced red onion
juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Guacamole
MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS
2 Haas avocados
1/2 small red onion, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 a lime (about 1 tablespoon)
Mash the avocados until a puréed texture is achieved.
Blend thoroughly with the onion, salt, pepper, and
lime juice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

December 2013

Recipe of the Month: Rosemary Orange Sugar Cookies »

Rosemary Orange
Sugar Cookies

Spice up your holidays with a new twist on an old favorite.

sugar cookies

Makes 3-4 dozen

Experiment with individual herbs and blends to find your favorites.

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or
1/2 teaspoon dried*
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg
yolks, vanilla, orange zest, and rosemary. Sift flour,
baking powder, and salt; stir into butter mixture.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and
flatten; sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake until
light golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand on
cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to cool
on wire racks.
*Variation: Replace rosemary with 1 tablespoon lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lemon basil,
cinnamon basil, anise, licorice, or Thai basil, all of which are less potent than rosemary.


November 2013

Recipe of the Month: Autumn Harvest Sweet Potato Spice Flan Cake »

Get ready for Thanksgiving with this interesting take on a classic cake.

spice flan cake

Ingredients:

3/4 cup jarred caramel topping
1/2 teaspoon rum or brandy extract, optional
1 15-ounce can Louisiana brand cut sweet
potatoes in light syrup, drained, 1/2 cup
syrup reserved
1 18.25-ounce package spice cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons canola oil
7 eggs, divided
8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Procedure:

Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 15-cup capacity Bundt
pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
Place caramel topping into a small bowl. Stir in
rum or brandy extract, if using, and pour into bottom
of prepared pan. Place sweet potatoes and reserved
syrup into a food processor and process until
smooth.
Place cake mix, 1/2 cup sweet potato purée, water, canola oil, and 3 eggs into large mixing bowl and blend
with electric mixer until moistened. Beat with mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into cake
pan over caramel topping. Set aside.
Place softened cream cheese cubes into a food processor bowl and process until smooth. Add remainder
of sweet potato purée and pumpkin pie spice and process until combined, 15 to 20 seconds. Pour
condensed and evaporated milks into processor bowl and process carefully until mixture is smooth. Add
remaining eggs, 1 at a time, processing only until combined and mixture is smooth. Pour mixture atop cake
batter in pan.
Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover Bundt pan tightly with foil. This is very
important. Place covered Bundt pan into a larger pan with at least 2-inch sides and place on oven rack.
Pour very hot water (heated to just below boiling) around Bundt pan to about 1/2 inch from the top of
pan.
Bake for 2 hours. Remove Bundt pan from water and cool for 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and invert
cake onto a large platter. Cool completely at room temperature. Sprinkle pecans over top of cake. Refrigerate
until thoroughly chilled.


 
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