A Holiday Hint From Chef Paul Prudhomme
International connoisseur Chef Paul Prudhomme is a very friendly fellow. He was happy to tell us the story of his beginnings and the secret of "absolutely spectacular" holiday dressings.
|According to Chef Paul Prudhomme, the secret to moist holiday dressings is Louisiana oysters.
At seven years old, Prudhomme's dad ordered him into the kitchen to help his mom. Paul was the youngest of thirteen children and the last of his sisters had just gotten married. The youngster's job was to stand on a box next to the wood burning stove and watch over supper for details, like a crackling, a color change, blue smoke, or an aroma.
"In my thirties, I started realizing this information I gathered watching the pots cook, then listening to my mom and her telling me 'put this in' or 'stir this' was just, you know, one of those things that happen to human beings," says the Chef gleefully. "It just brought this huge amount of curiosity and information into my being. And I'm still at it today."
As Chef Paul travels around the globe, he never misses a chance to attend a cooking class. "It's just wonderful." Yet, when it comes to dressings, he's discovered that the world may need Louisiana oysters.
"Ninety-eight percent of the dressings in the world are dry. You put oysters in it and oysters have enough moisture to keep moisturizing the dressing: to make it spectacular!" he says. "I think you ought to put a lot of them in. And they ought to be whole oysters. They're going to [create] pools of moisture in the dressing. Just absolutely spectacular!"
So, take a tip from Chef Paul and dress up your holiday fare with oysters: premium Louisiana oysters at the peak of their season.
Holiday Oyster Dressing
A recipe by
Chef Paul Prudhomme
20 small to medium Louisiana oysters in their liquor
1 cup water
1½ sticks margarine
1½ cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
4 tsp. Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic(r) (available at www. MagicSeasonings.com)
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ cup chopped green onions
½ cup very finely chopped parsley
3 bay leaves
1 cup very fine dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
Combine oysters and water; refrigerate at least 1 hour. Strain. Reserve oysters and oyster water in refrigerator until ready to use.
Heat 4 Tbsp. margarine in large skillet over high heat. When margarine is almost melted, add ¾ cup onions, ½ cup celery and ½ cup bell peppers. Sauté until onions are dark brown but not burned, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in 2 tsp. Seafood Magic and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining margarine, plus onions, celery and bell peppers. Then add ¼ cup green onions, ¼ cup parsley and bay leaves. Stir until margarine is melted. Continue cooking 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add oyster water and cook over high heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 tsp. Seafood Magic and enough bread crumbs to make a moist but not runny dressing.
Remove from heat. Stir in oysters. Spoon dressing into ungreased 8 x 8-inch baking pan and bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, discard bay leaves and stir in butter, remaining green onions, and parsley.
Makes about 3 cups.