Posted: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 3:06 pm
Friends of West Texas A&M University president and Mrs. Pat O’Brien from their days at Loyola in New Orleans, this is the third summer Stieffel has come to Canyon to offer classes and a presidential dinner serving up his own style of New Orleans cooking.
In the 2010 version, the specialty was
Cajun cuisine. Last year it was Creole, along with a history lesson to spell
out the differences. This year’s installment of excellent food and
With a map of
The cooking class, with about 40 – 50
participants, began with previously prepared and sliced
Calling forth volunteers to help with
the preparation, Stieffel reminded participants of the “holy trinity” of
Since the flavor of the day was Soul Food, the first taste was for catfish and what to do with the leftover catfish from a huge catfish fry. While one crew of class participants prepared the Creole sauce to bring flavor back to the day-old fried catfish, another crew was preparing Muffalattas and a third crew worked on the Smothered mustard and collard greens together with Andouille and Tasso topped with lump crabmeat.
As “soul food” prepared for the poorest
residents of early 20th Century
Stieffel noted that catfish were often served with dill pickles, but he often flavored his catfish with dill mustard.
The class participant volunteers had
“hands-on” experience with the ingredients, all of which should be measured,
Stieffel said as he liberally added ingredients. Spicing his class with humor
while spicing his food with exotic flavors from
The class ended with a sweet dessert called “Pain Perdu,” meaning Lost Bread or French Toast. It began as a way to reclaim stale bread for a delicious use. The end product, soaked in a rich concoction of heavy whipping cream, whole milk, eggs, sugar and butter, was given a treatment of dark molasses syrup and dusted with powdered sugar before serving.
All of these recipes, and others, are available at Stieffel’s website, www.customcatering.net
The cooking and eating continued through a Saturday evening reception and dinner at the president’s home followed by a Sunday brunch.
After three installments of