Welcome back to Day 4 of our French Quarter travel guide series! (Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 posts here in case ya missed ’em!) Today, Jenn (Haute Off the Rack) and I are cooking up something delicious – authentic, New Orleans grits and grillades with sugary pralines for dessert with a little a whole lot of assistance from the New Orleans School of Cooking!
See the full post for more on our cooking experience + our behind-the-scenes video!
If you have ever wanted to know the tips and tricks to making southern dishes or just wanted to have a unique cooking experience, the New Orleans Cooking School offers both! There are two different class options – demonstrations and hand-on classes. Jenn and I opted for the hand-on experience to really try our hand at southern cooking. Chef Austin Faucheaux helped us create this delicious masterpiece every step of the way. We learned how to prepare our round steak, properly cook grits and (my favorite) how to poach the egg for the final ingredient.
In our private “classroom” area, there were enough cooking stations to accommodate a small party making this a fun idea for birthday parties, girls night out, or any other group occasion. Plus, they supply the wine, which was a big plus for me. 😉 And after you cook it, you get to EAT it all and marvel at how you could have created something so delicious!
Here are the recipes that we used for our grits and grillades:
Stone Ground Cheese Grits:
Ingredients:(makes 4-6 Servings**)
5 C. water
1 C. stone ground white corn grits
1/4 C. grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tsbp. Romano Cheese
Procedure: In a tall sauce pot, combine water and salt. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in grits and reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally to ensure grits from sticking. Remove grits from heat. Add butter and both types of cheese and mix well. Serve warm.
Grillades:(makes 4-6 servings**)
1 1/2 lbs. round steak
1 Tbsp. Joes’ Stuff seasoning blend
1/2 C. flour + 2 Tbsp.
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 C. chopped white onion
1/4 C. chopped celery
1/4 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbsp. sliced garlic
2 C. beef stock
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Bay leaf
1 C. chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. red wine vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. sliced green onion
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
Additional Joe’s Stuff to taste
Procedure: Pound out round steak with meat mallet to about 1/4 inch thick then julienne the beef into 1/2 inch thick strips. Combine flour with Joe’s Stuff and dust the pieces of meat in the flour shaking off any excess flour.
In a tall skillet, heat the oil and brown the pieces of meat on each side. Lower hear and immediately add onion, bell pepper and celery and cook until translucent. Stirring constantly, add the renaming 2 Tbsp. of flour and cook on medium heat until flour starts to brown. Add garlic, bay leaf, thyme, worcestershire sauce, tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 30-45 minutes or until beef is tender.
Once ready to serve, add hot sauce, red wine vinaigrette and Joe’s Stuff seasoning to desire taste.
Serve over warm grits and garnish with poached egg and green onions.
2 qts. water
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
4 large eggs
Procedure: In a tall sauce pot, bring water and vinegar to a medium simmer. Crack egg gently into a large spoon or ladle and carefully lower into a simmering liquid.
You may poach 2 eggs at a time without over crowding the pot.
Tips: Use very fresh eggs. Use eggs at room temperature.
After our delicious meal, we just had to have dessert too. So we got back to our stations and learned how to whip up a batch of pralines.
While these pralines only require a few simple ingredients, the actual process is not simple at all! The mixture must be precisely the right temperature while pouring out onto the wax paper before they harden. Take a look at our behind-the-scenes video by Morgan Carr Cinematography to see little snippets of our praline process!