Commander's Palace is an American restaurant treasure. For many years, patrons of the beloved New Orleans institution have been urging the Brennan family, its proprietors, to publish the restaurant's recipes. Commander's Kitchen, written by co-owner Ella Brennan's daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, and Chef Jamie Shannon, realizes that wish, presenting more than 150 accessible recipes for the restaurant's acclaimed Creole dishes. These reflect a mix of French, Spanish, African, Arcadian, and Native American cooking traditions. The book also provides a glimpse of the history, lore, and daily backstage to-and-fro that have made the century-old restaurant a required dining destination.
"We like to push things to the edge," says Shannon of Commander's vibrant cooking, and in chapters that treat drinks through desserts, the book proves his point. Dishes like Shrimp Tasso with Five-Pepper Jelly, Pan-Crusted Sirloin Steak with Cayenne Butter, and Braised Lamb Shank with Merlot Mushroom Sauce are typical of the heady offerings, fare both earthy and sophisticated. Also presented are recipes for many of Commander's famed brunch dishes, the classic creamed-spinach- and artichoke-garnished Eggs Sardou among them; "The Chef's Table," a chapter of "show-off" dishes served at the restaurant's renowned in-the-kitchen table; and a selection of sweets, including Chocolate Molten Soufflé and the Creole sine qua non dessert, Bread Pudding Soufflé. Illustrated with color photos and containing technique tips throughout (readers learn, for example, the difference between sautéing and panéing), the book is an exuberant portrait of a remarkable American restaurant and its unique cuisine. --Arthur Boehm
Advance Praise for Commander's Kitchen
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"A delicious combination of Commander's classics and Chef Jamie's flavor
and flair! What a restaurant! What a family!"
--Chef Emeril Lagasse
"For the very same reasons that Commander's Palace is a great, classic restaurant, Commander's Kitchen is a winner of a cookbook. It's generous in sharing recipes that are enormously appealing and user-friendly with a healthy seasoning of spunk and soul."
--Danny Meyer, coauthor of The Union Square Cafe Cookbook
"Step through the doors of Commander's Kitchen and celebrate the magical hospitality and vibrant cooking of New Orleans. The book's intoxicating imagery and seductive recipes will have you licking your lips in anticipation of Commander's tantalizing tastes. Chef Jamie Shannon is a fish expert extraordinaire, and his well-seasoned tips will lure you into the kitchen to create your own show-stopping memories."
--Leslie Beal Bloom, coauthor of Seafood Cooking for Dummies
"The Commander's Palace tradition of excellence, savored by so many generations during the last century, has been elegantly and clearly written for the new century in a book that defines, explains, and demonstrates New Orleans cooking at its best--Commander's Kitchen is for old-timers and newcomers alike, a feast for everybody."
-Peter Feibleman, author of American Cooking: Creole and Acadian
"One of my all-time favorite gastronomic destinations in the United States is New Orleans and Commander's Palace is, of course, at the top of my list of places to dine. Bravo Ti and Jamie for translating the culinary tradition of the legendary Brennan family into a book that the home cook can both enjoy reading and cooking from."
--Daniel Boulud, chef/owner of Restaurant Daniel and Cafe Boulud