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3 Recipes for Lent from New Orleans’ Top Chefs

by Kimberly Krol Inlander

Mar 5, 2021

Compère Lapin © Bratty1206 | Dreamstime.com


The Lenten season continues through April 3. This year, New Orleans’ top chefs share some Lent-friendly recipes for at-home dining.

Shrimp “Muddy Waters” from Jack Rose’s Chef/Owner Brian Landry

2 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
½ cup onion, minced
½ cup celery, minced
½ cup carrot, minced
¼ cup garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
½ tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
1 quart strong shrimp stock
5 lbs. 10-15 count Royal Red Shrimp
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, cubed

Peel and devein shrimp; season with salt and pepper and refrigerate. Place shrimp shells in 1.5-quart saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30–45 minutes. Strain the stock from the shells.

In a separate two-quart sauce pan sweat onion, celery and carrot for 4–5 minutes or until aromatic. Add garlic, chili flakes and tomato paste and sweat for 2–3 more minutes. Deglaze with white wine. Add salt, sugar and oregano. Allow contents to come to a boil and reduce by half.

Add shrimp stock and simmer for 15 minutes or until all flavors have meshed.

Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. In small batches, sear shrimp on both sides until golden brown and just cooked through (be careful not to overcook). Return all of the shrimp to the cast-iron skillet and pour waters sauce over the top. Add the butter a few cubes at a time and stir until well incorporated. Sauce should be a rich brown color with a “muddy” hue.

Shrimp muddy waters can be served with grits, over your favorite pasta, or with rice. At Jack, Rose, it is served with squid ink campanelle.

Marinated Crab Claws from Toups’ Meatery’s Chef/Owner Isaac Toups

14 tablespoons (7⁄8 cup) lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
6 tablespoons lime juice (from about 9 limes)
½ cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (or your favorite hot pepper)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound raw blue crab claws
8 cherry tomatoes, halved, for serving
½ cup pickled grilled pineapple

In a large, nonreactive mixing bowl, combine lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, hot sauce, ginger, jalapeño, sugar and salt, and stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add crab claws, making sure they are submerged.

Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge, toss in the cherry tomatoes and pickled pineapple, and serve.

Conch Croquettes from Compère Lapin’s Chef/Owner Nina Compton

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ Spanish onion, peeled & finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, warm
1 bell pepper diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
8 ounces conch poached (see recipe below)
½ teaspoon salt
1 pinch nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs

For the conch:
1 onion julienned
½ bunch rosemary
8 ounces conch
Olive oil
3 quarts water

For the tartar sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 teaspoon chopped capers
2 tablespoons caper juice (from jar)
1 tablespoon jalapeño or Calabrese chili, chopped finely
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus wedges, for serving/garnish
2 tablespoons pickled pineapple, small diced or mango
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper, pinch (or to taste)

Prepare the conch: Caramelize onions in a sauté pan and add rosemary. Add water and bring to a boil. Add conch and simmer for 45 minutes. Take off heat and cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely in liquid.

Heat butter in a medium sauté pan over a medium flame. Add onions and peppers and cook until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1½ cups of the flour and mix energetically. Cook for 5 minutes to make sure the flour is cooked through; it should start to take on a golden color. Pour the milk into the flour mixture and cook, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes; add the spices until you have a thick béchamel.

Add the conch and sprinkle in the salt and nutmeg. Cook for another 2 minutes. The mixture should be thick enough that you can mold in your hands. Carefully pick up a bit and try to ball it with your hands. It shouldn’t be too sticky. If it does stick to your hands, cook a little longer. Then, spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and let it cool to room temperature.

Take a spoonful of cooled béchamel mixture and roll it in your hands to make a small cylinder the size of a wine cork. Roll the cylinder in the remaining 1 cup of flour, then in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with all the croquettes.

In a small, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil to 375°F. Add the croquettes in small batches, making sure they are covered completely in oil. Fry until they have a nice golden color, about 1–2 minutes; then, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Repeat with all the croquette.

Combine all ingredients for the tartar sauce. Serve croquettes hot with some tartar sauce and lemon wedges.


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