Jyl Benson has a new cookbook and a new gig. The local freelance journalist and author of 2005’s “Galatoire’s Cookbook” wrote “Fun, Funky & Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes,” which was just published by Pelican Publishing.
And she’s the new director of culinary programming at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., in charge of Rouse’s Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Aire.
On Thursday (March 5) at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books, she will sign books and have samples of the cover dish, Andouille Tots.
“It’s a little fried ball, fun food from an upscale bowling alley (Fulton Alley) by Michael Nirenberg,” Benson said of the toddler appetizer. “You can see where it’s coming from.
“Everything here, you can see the New Orleans style underpinnings in a certain way, but they’re doing something different, or they’re doing something traditional in a different way,” she said. .
Everyone who shared their recipes for the book, like “YaKaMein Lady” Linda Green, Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery and Celestine “Tina” Dunbar of Dunbar’s Soul Food, has such a passion for food, she said. .
“What Michael Gulotta is doing at MoPho is not Vietnamese, it’s not New Orleans, but you can see the crossroads there,” Benson said. Gulotta shared her popular grilled spare ribs recipe.
The photography for the book was done by food photography expert and stylist Sam Hanna, who happens to be the brother of chef Tariq Hanna from Sucre and who photographed the books by author Kit Wohl. The three all work out of Wohl’s home studio and test kitchen.
Benson and Wohl invite chefs who give them recipes to come over to test and photograph them. Often the chefs stay all day.
“It’s really kumbaya out there,” Benson said.
Wohl is Benson’s mentor and the artist who made the large chandelier hanging in the SoFAB kitchen. It has hooks on it to hold cups, cooking utensils or whatever.
Benson’s job is to make the 1,300 square foot demonstration kitchen at the back of the new museum a community resource as well as a source of revenue for the museum.
She is looking for local and traveling chefs, authors and cooks who would like to be part of the regular Saturday cooking demonstrations and signings, which begin with Mississippi chefs as part of the Mississippi Expo in March from museum. (His contact: Jyl@southernfood.org.) The cost to attend the events will be included in the museum’s $10 admission.
The Culinary Innovation Center is also licensed for other commercial uses. Above all, SoFAB director Liz Williams and Benson want to encourage culinary entrepreneurship.
During business hours, the cost is $25 an hour, with a two-hour minimum and a $50 security deposit, for “the guy who needs to make pickles to sell at farmers’ markets. , or the small caterer who needs space for his or her thing,” Benson said. (An additional $25 per hour is added for after-hours use.)
The kitchen can be set up for commercial photography or all kinds of parties. Private events can be anything from baby showers to high-end parties where “we’ll do all the work for you, for a premium price,” Benson said. For certain types of events, the museum’s restaurant, Purloo, and chef Ryan Hughes can provide catering.
The kitchen is equipped by sponsors Lodge, KitchenAid, Wustoff and Microplane; Plus, there’s cutlery, plates, and “every glass imaginable,” Benson said, because the Museum of the American Cocktail’s demo programs will also be held here.
On March 21, Benson will have her own demonstration and signing for the new cookbook at the Culinary Innovation Center. It’s 11am-2pm with chef Michael Nirenberg of Fulton Alley, preparing Andouille Tots for you to enjoy.
Other signings: Tuesday February 24, 4-5.30 p.m., Coquette, 2800 rue Magazine. Chef Michael Stolzfus of Coquette will taste his market vegetable salad with cirrus cirrus vinaigrette, cashew puree and black olive praline from the book.
March 5, 6 p.m. Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Street. Chef Michael Nirenberg of Fulton Alley will sample Andouille Tots.
May 6, Simplee Gourmet, Covington 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m., 70457 LA-21, Covington.
Benson’s 18-year-old daughter is a vegan; several recipes in the cookbook are as well, such as Butterbean Hummus. The Roasted Garlic Bread pictured with the hummus, as well as Chef Isaac Toups’ Chicken Liver Mousse, is a take on Sullivan Street Bakery’s famous No-Knead recipe that Mark Bittman published in The New York Times in 2007 or 2008 ; Amy Sins teaches it at Carrefour Culinaire Langlois along with hummus. Benson writes that large limas are best for the dish, but younger green limas, kidney beans, flageolet beans, or navy beans work well too.
Makes 18 appetizer servings
1 pound dried or frozen butter beans (large limas)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (chilli from the vera), plus more for garnish
Super Easy Rustic Roasted Garlic Crispbread (recipe follows)
Crudités such as fresh radishes (optional)
Boil the butter beans with enough water to cover in a medium saucepan until tender, about 30 minutes, adding additional water as needed. Drain and cool.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
Puree the beans, onions and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Gently drizzle with olive oil. Season with smoked paprika and salt to taste. Pour the mixture into a bowl, drizzle with olives and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with bread and raw vegetables.
Rustic Crispy Bread with Roasted Garlic
Make a loaf
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Whisk to combine flour, kosher salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add water and stir with a wooden spoon until a fluffy mixture forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the garlic with the sea salt, olive oil and Provencal herbs in a small baking dish. Roast the garlic until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Costs.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of an oven-safe clay pot or covered enamel Dutch oven. Flour parchment paper and set aside.
Place a covered clay pot or Dutch oven in the oven. Lower the heat to 450 degrees, so that the pan and the oven heat up at the same time.
Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface and flatten into an 8-inch disc. Scrape the garlic and herbs onto the disk and fold the sides over to enclose the garlic. Turn the dough over, seam side down, and roughly form a ball. Use a sharp knife to cut indentations or a chopping pattern on top of the dough. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, remove the pot from the oven, carefully insert the parchment, place the dough on the parchment and replace the lid. Return the pot to the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for about 20 minutes more, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Bread can also be used with this next recipe, shared by Chef Isaac Toups of Toups’ Meatery.
“I love Isaac’s Chicken Liver Mousse because he varies it seasonally,” Benson said. In hot weather, substitute 1/4 cup of Lillet Blanc for the port and the zest of a lemon for the spices.
Makes about 6 cups
2 pounds, chicken livers, rinsed
3 sticks of butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
Port 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons of sugar
Pinch of clove powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and white pepper to taste
To serve: hearty bread, pickles and radishes
Cook the livers in a medium skillet over high heat until medium-rare, about 1 minute per side. Add port, bourbon, sugar, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Remove the pan from the heat immediately when the livers are cooked through, about 4 more minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl; coldness.
Add the livers, liquid, butter, cream cheese, port, bourbon, sugar, cloves and nutmeg to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.
Pour the mixture into a large or several small porcelain ramekins. Coldness. Serve with slices of bread, pickles and radish slices.
Chef Glen Hogh of the Vega Tapas Cafe gave this recipe to Benson. Shrimp can be pricked on toothpicks for appetizers, or served over rice or pasta for a quick weeknight dish. (Recently, the cafe was sold to Greg Francis, when Hogh decided to focus more on his restaurant business.)
Makes 6 appetizer servings
6 large store-bought puff pastry shells, such as Pepperidge Farm
5 tablespoons of olive oil
18 large Gulf shrimp (about 3/4 pound), peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika (chilli from the vera)
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat the puff pastry in the toaster oven over low heat.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp, garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika to the hot skillet and sauté until the shrimp just start to turn pink, about 2 minutes per side. Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice and sherry and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the cream and reduce for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley. Spread the shrimp evenly over the puff pastry and serve immediately.
Managing Editor Judy Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter (@JudyWalkerCooks) and Facebook (JudyWalkerCooks).