New Orleans "first time around"

During my first landing in New Orleans before Arneau's I did a brief stint at "La Savior" in Metairie where I worked under the crazed master chef Gerard Thabuis. Thus the man was a master of his craft and went away with 2 results.

  • How to open champagne with a French sabor

  • The recipe pineapple Au poivre (see below recipe) Enjoy

Pineapple Au Poivre

Combining pineapple, peppercorns, and ice cream will probably sound as strange to you as it did to me when the late Chef Gerard Thabuis proposed it for dessert. After a stint as chef at Brennan's, he opened his own restaurant, La Savoie, in Metairie. This was his signature dessert: slices of pineapple seared in butter, flamed in spirits, with a thickening, sweet sauce riddled with green peppercorns. Surprisingly, the dish it most resembled in flavor was bananas Foster, but it was a long way from that. Use the kind of green peppercorns packed in brine or vinegar--not the dried kind, which never soften up. (Many supermarkets put these on the shelf next to the capers, which they strongly resemble in appearance.)

  • 1 fresh pineapple

  • 6 Tbs. butter

  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 4 oz. pineapple juice

  • 2 Tbs. green peppercorns, packed in brine, drained

  • 2 oz. dark rum (not 151 proof!)

  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

1. Peel and core out the pineapple. Slice the meat of the pineapple about three-quarters-inch thick. Collect all the juice that emerges and reserve. Optional: If you have a juice extractor, cut the core into chunks and run it through the machine to get all that juice. 2. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat half the butter until it bubbles. Add the pineapple slices in one layer, and brown them around the edges on each side. Remove and reserve, keeping all the juice. 3. When all the pineapple slices are browned, lower the heat to medium-low. Add the remaining butter, the brown sugar, the pineapple juice, plus all the additional pineapple juice you've collected. Bring to a light boil, stirring lightly to dissolve the sugar. Allow the sauce to thicken to about the consistency of cane syrup. 4. Return the pineapple slices to the pan (you can put them all in there now). Sprinkle the peppercorns over the pineapple and stir lightly to distribute 5. (Optional.) Measure the rum into a glass and pour into the pan. (Never pour spirits directly from the bottle into a hot pan.) Bring to a boil, and if you like and if your kitchen is safe for flames, touch a flame to the pan and flambé the pineapple. Let the flames die down and remove from the heat. 6. Serve the pineapple slices over the ice cream and top with a generous amount of sauce. Serves six to eight. The real kicker about Gerard is, he once sent me into the walk-in cooler to fetch dinner Mis en place

opened the fridge door and to my shock and astonishment was an propped up real 10 ft dead alligator ready to snap my head off. I had to change my pants. Oh my. He was the ultimate prankster

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