Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cookbook Thursday: Jyl Benson's 'Fun, Funky and Fabulous' New Orleans

            New Orleans food writer Jyl Benson takes on the more colorful side of New Orleans cuisine in “Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes,” with photography by Sam Hanna and illustrations by Simon of New Orleans. It’s a fun trip through a city whose cuisine continues to evolve, spotlighting recipes from unique spots such as Vega Tapas Café, Juan’s Flying Burrito, The Three Muses and Miss Linda’s New Orleans Soul Food.  
            Benson will be signing copies of this eclectic cookbook from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Oil and Vinegar Louisiana culinary shop, 6111 Pinnacle Pkwy. in Covington. The book features three recipes from Covington chefs Keith Frentz and Nealy Frentz of LOLA Restaurant and we'll be serving samples to snack. She will also sign copies at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Coquette, 2800 Magazine St. in New Orleans, with Chef Michael Stolzfus serving up samples from the book.
            The official book launch will be at 6 p.m. March 5 at Octavia Books in New Orleans with Chef Michael Nirenberg of Fulton Alley serving the andouille tots shown on the book’s cover.
            Here’s a recipe for chilled crab and cappellini salad by Chef Isaac Toups of Toups’Meatery.

Chilled Crab and Cappellini Salad
From “Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes”
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
8 ounces dried cappellini pasta cooked until al dente, chilled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 ounce of your favorite caviar
8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
20 satsuma, tangerine or blood orange segments, membranes removed
4 large basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade

            Directions: Start with well-chilled ingredients. Whisk the lemon juice, mustard, and sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the oil in thin rivulets, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cappellini, parsley, chives and caviar; toss gently to coat. Gently fold in the crabmeat, taking care not to break up the lumps. Divide the salad evenly among four chilled salad plates. Divide the citrus segments and basil evenly among the plates.