Teaser Recipes, Ch. 2, Presbytere &Church

As I’ve said before, the Tricentennial is upon us. But there are just 2 or 3 chapters that remain to be completed. Rather that wait around for the print version, I have decided to pre-publish the entire book here online within this blog. Chapter 2 (sans recipes) and the Christmas chapter may already be found here, but moving forward I will pre-publish all the chapters as I clean them up into final drafts (I use the word “final” very loosely). The included recipes will make their way into the chapters as the year goes by. Hope you enjoy the history AND the food!

Pain Perdue: 

A staple in any South Louisiana kitchen, translates as Lost Bread, and is a popular way to use up stale bread as opposed to making bread crumbs or feeding the birds outside; sometimes also called French Toast.

At its most basic, (1) heat up some oil in a frying pan, (2) make an egg and milk wash, (3) soak the stale bread in the wash, (4) fry it brown in the pan, (5) add some sugar, or cinnamon , or what have you, (6) eat it up with some coffee.

Ahhh! But as with most classic recipes, these simple steps offer a wide range of variations.  

Step One: What kind of oil? Frere Gerard would have used bear oil, olive oil, bacon grease, or butter. Each one would infuse a distinct flavor upon your breakfast toast. In our tricentennial kitchens, the plethora of cooking oils available in our markets gives the cook a vast repertoire of flavors to experiment with.

Step Two: Beat an egg into some milk (we won’t get into what kind of egg or which animal’s milk). Gerard may have added some vanilla bean, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves into the wash. Today, your choices are measured beyond number.

Step Three: The same sentiment holds true for the bread choice. In New Orleans today, it is usually stale po-boy bread. But again go with your imagination.

Step Four: Sugar (powdered or table) and cinnamon are almost de rigeur. But think pancakes or waffles (like at IHOP), knock your lights out.

Step Five: No choice or variation allowed here. Just Eat.

Crab Cakes

4 or 5 Red Potatoes, boiled & mashed
½ small onion
½ red bell pepper
2-4 cloves garlic
Oil. Egg, lemon juice, thyme, parsley, cayenne
½  lb. picked crab meat
Bread crumbs

Boil and mash 5 large red potatoes. Chop the veggies as fine as possible (modern, pass them through a food chopper).

Next prepare a proto-recipe for the blending medium, i.e. the mayo*. Blend together (vigorously beat together) a large egg yolk, ½ cup olive oil,1 tsp. each of vinegar and/or lemon juice, the thyme, parsley, and cayenne to taste. When you have a nice firm mayo-like sauce, add the crabmeat to the mashed potatoes, blend in the “mayo”. Form into 8 or 10 cakes, correcting the texture with added bread crumbs. Coat the cakes with a layer of crumbs. If you have time, chill the cakes for a few hours. Bake the cakes at 370˚ for a half hour, then fry them in a heavy pan, oiled ¼ inch deep for 2 minutes on each side. Alternately, you can fry the cakes directly in ½ inch of oil, five minutes in each side. 

* Gerard would not have had access to the sauce we call mayonnaise, as it wasn’t invented until the late 1700’s. However, egg and oil emulsions had been around sine Classical times. For a brief history and fuller discussion of mayo see chapter 14 Everyday Cooking in Creole New Orleans.


Coming soon as they are tested:

Sagamite Stuffed Cabbage*  with Black Eye Peas (for a New Orleans New Year’s)

Corn flour, Onions or shallots, Green peppers, Parsley. Chopped or Ground Pork. Cabbage leaves, Black Eye Peas

* makes great stuffing for mushrooms, tomatoes, or bell peppers as well.

Bacon Wrapped Cabbage Rolls – nuts, bread, carrots, onions

Pies: Fruit and Nut

Turnip and Rabbit Pie


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Jerry Laiche

Jon (Jerry) Laiche, B.A., M.A. is a  working historian, writer, and co-author of “1718: The Petticoat Rebellion Cookbook.”  He is a twenty-year veteran teacher and scholar, having taught courses in Louisiana, American, and World History, and is a member of the Historic New Orleans Collection. In addition to his background as an historian, he has taught Religion in the High Schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and was adjunct professor of Computer Ethics and Internet Technology at Tulane University.  In addition to his academic duties, Jerry has served his schools as a technology coordinator, network administrator, librarian, and Internet guru.  During his teaching tenure, Jerry also was the recipient of two grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.  The grants enabled his school to establish the first High School Women’s Studies program in New Orleans.  He was the founding Director of the Archdiocesan Teacher Learning Center (Computers in the Classroom).  For three years, he owned and operated “The Philosopher’s Stone” a bookstore on the Northshore specializing in rare and antiquarian volumes.  With his smart and beautiful wife, Beth, he currently coordinates the “1718 Project” to commemorate the 2018 New Orleans Tri-Centennial.  He and his life partner currently live at Beltane Grove, one acre and a cottage, 30 miles north of New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain. (Rev. Samhain: Oct. 31, 2018) jlaiche@earthlink.net http://1718neworleans.com https://1718neworleans2018.wordpress.com/ Home Office: (985) 795-2372 Primum est Edare, diendi Philosophari