There are several really good cooks in the Atlanta area that learned their craft from the old great chefs and legendary restaurants of New Orleans and Lafayette. I’m proud to say that I know a few of these guys so I asked them for a recipe for this series of articles.
Chef Claude “Big” Roussell was born in New Orleans but was raised in the tiny town of Shell Beach, LA. just a few miles south of the city and on the banks of Lake Borgne. Like most of us from the area he learned his craft from his creole/Cajun ancestors. After going to LSU Claude honed his skills at famous Cajun restaurants like Mulates, Sammy’s, and Chez Paris. He moved to Atlanta in 1994, worked his way around town, and in 2002 opened Big Easy Grill on Atlanta’s westside. His menu is real Cajun fair…boiled crawfish, grilled oysters, crawfish etouffee, po-boys, fried oysters…I’m real picky about where I sit down to eat Cajun but you can find me most nights at Big Easy eating a bowl of gumbo and a plate of fried oysters. For the best in the city check out Big Easy Grille at bigeasygrille.com
Chef Claude is giving us his recipe for the iconic Mardi Gras signature New Orleans dish…The King Cake.
Pastry: Filling: Frosting:
1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbl butter 1 ½ tsp cinnamon 1 Tbl water
1 (.25 oz) pkg yeast 1/3 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup white sugar 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg 1/4 cup melted butter
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour 1 plastic baby
1 egg (beaten)
Scald milk. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbl butter. Cool to room temperature.
Dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 tsp white sugar. Let stand 10 minutes.
When yeast is bubbling, add cooled milk and whisk in egg and remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg.Blend flour into milk 1 cup at a time. When dough is pulled together, turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth, About 10 minutes.
Lightly oil large bowl. Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a large cookie sheet.
Filling: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans and 1/4 cup flour. Pour in 1/4 cup melted butter and mix until crumbly.
Roll dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle filling evenly and roll tightly. Bring ends together to form oval ring. Place ring on cookie sheet. Make slits in dough every 1 inch. Let dough rise 45 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes. Insert baby into bottom of cake. Frost cake while warm. Blend confectioners sugar with 1 Tbl water