This renowned baked oyster dish was created at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans in 1899 by the proprietor, Jules Alciatore. According to legend, the dish was created as a substitute for baked snails, which were hard to obtain from France. It was named in honor of John D. Rockefeller, at that time one of the world's richest men, because of the sauce's intense richness. The following recipe is the old Delmonico restaurant's take on the dish, with the Rockefeller sauce base used not only to make the Oysters Rockefeller appetizer, but also used as a spread on toast to create canapés.
New Orleans Red Beans and Rice with Pickled Peppers
In New Orleans, red beans and rice are traditionally served on Mondays because the dish uses up leftover Sunday ham. Grace Parisi likes making the recipe any day of the week, and she replaces the ham with smoky bacon.
Oysters are a prominent part of many Gulf Coast holiday meals, and they play a big role in New Orleans chef John Besh's dinner. As a child, he loved when family friend Mrs. Slaughter made little puff pastry cups and filled them with oysters in cream sauce. In this version, he places the oysters in mini tartlet shells, then tops them with a creamy horseradish sauce and crispy bread crumbs.
Jason McCullar reinvents shrimp remoulade, the classic New Orleans cocktail-party dish. Instead of tossing his vermouth-poached shrimp with a mayonnaise dressing, he makes a ginger-spiked dipping sauce.
Justin Devillier upgrades classic Southern cheese straws with Sharifi's Iranian spices at his New Orleans restaurant La Petite Grocery. He sometimes swaps out the cardamom for equal amounts of ground coriander or fennel seed. "I've always assumed cheese straws originated in the Carolinas," says Devillier, "but that may be because my mother-in-law always brings them when she visits from South Carolina."
Three-year-old Drew Besh loves his father chef John Besh's decadent cauliflower puree, which is silky and luscious because it's made with both cream and butter. Adjust the level of cayenne pepper to make the cauliflower puree more or less spicy.
The inspiration for this delicious roast comes from chef John Besh's father-in-law, Pat Berrigan, who serves it every Christmas with horseradish sauce on the side. Besh opts to smear the roast with a horseradish, garlic and herb butter, which bakes to form an irresistible crust.
Eco-minded chefs are cooking with wild American shrimp, but not just for ethical reasons. As Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace in New Orleans says, "They taste cleaner and crisper, since they swim in the tides."
When they're not adding a Southern ingredient to a French recipe, chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing are adding a French ingredient to a Southern recipe. Here, crème fraîche takes the place of buttermilk in these extremely fluffy biscuits.
Chef-owner Ginevra Iverson of Restaurant Eloise in Sonoma County, California, serves her light, crisp, sugared doughnut holes with sweet-tart raspberry jam. She won't send any imperfect doughnut holes into the dining room; misshapen ones, she says, become snacks for the kitchen crew: "They get slathered with jam and devoured by whomever gets to them first."