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Northshore Recipes

There are many ways to savor the flavor of the Northshore, where fabulous chefs take an abundance of fresh, high-quality local ingredients and make every meal a celebration for the taste buds. Here are some recipes to try in your kitchen at home,
courtesy of some of the Northshore's favorite dining spots: Hambone, LOLA, Dakota, and Meribo restaurants.

Heirloom Tomato, Burrata & Louisiana Crab Salad

Keith & Nealy Frentz, Lola Restaurant
Ingredients:Heirloom tomatoes burrata cheese blue crab and Green Goddess Dressing from LOLA in Covington
  • Heirloom tomatoes of different sizes and colors, sliced or quartered
  • 16 oz container Premium Lump Louisiana Blue Crab meat
  • 4 oz buratta cheese
  • Chopped chive for garnish

Green Goddess Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh chive, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 anchovy fillets

Place all dressing ingredients in blender and blend till smooth in texture. Chill for a couple hours before serving.

To assemble salad, spoon dressing on bottom of plate. Arrange sliced tomatoes on dressing, place desired amount of Louisiana blue crab meat on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle with pinched-off pieces of burrata cheese and garnish with chopped chive.

Poppy Tooker's Seafood Gumbo

Reprinted from "Louisiana Eats!" (Pelican Publishing 2013)
Ingredients:Poppy Tooker's Seafood Gumbo
  • 2 lbs. shrimp, shells and heads on
  • 1 onion, chopped, peel reserved
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped, tops and bottoms reserved
  • 6-8 green onions, thinly sliced, parings reserved
  • 1 pt. oysters
  • 2 lbs. okra, sliced into ¼” rounds
  • ½ cup oil, plus additional for frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. gumbo crabs
  • 1 1-lb. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Peel shrimp, reserving heads and shells. Make a stock by combining shrimp heads and peels, onion skins, celery bottoms and tops, and green onion parings in a stock pot. Cover with water in excess of 2” over discards and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid.
    Drain oysters and reserve oyster liquor; set aside.

    Fry okra in very hot oil until lightly browned.

    Make a dark roux with the flour and ½ cup oil, cooking to the color of milk chocolate. Add chopped onions, stirring until the roux darkens to a bittersweet chocolate brown. Add celery and bell pepper. Satué for 5 minutes, then add the gumbo crabs, tomatoes, okra, thyme, bay leaf, shrimp stock, and oyster liquor. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes or longer.

    Ten minutes before serving, add shrimp and green onions. Add hot sauce and salt as needed. Serve over cooked rice. Yields 10-12 servings.


Chef Luke Hidalgo, Hambone

"Oysters Marci is a dish I developed back at my days at Commanders Palace at the Chef's Table...The core flavors at play here are classic New Orleans: fennel, Herbsaint, bacon, mushrooms and fresh herbs," explains Chef Hidalgo. It's one of the most popular dishes at Hambone, and named for his wife and business partner.


One dozen medium-sized Gulf oysters. Set aside while you make the stuffing.

For the stuffing:Oyster's Marci, Hambone, Recipe, Tammany Taste

  • Olive oil
  • 6 oz. bacon, diced small
  • 1 yellow Spanish onion, diced small
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, diced small
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, gills removed, diced medium
  • 2 cups Herbsaint liqueur
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 oz. Italian parsley, rough chopped
  • 1 oz. fresh tarragon, rough chopped
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon thyme, rough chopped
  • ½ cup dry grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • Cayenne to taste

Heat large, heavy-bottomed pot before adding in a drizzle of olive oil to coat the bottom. Add diced bacon. (Chef’s hint: Freeze bacon before using to make it easy to dice.) Stir with a wooden spoon to render the bacon, then add the diced onion and fennel. Continue to stir at medium heat until fennel and onions are nicely caramelized.

Add chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Allow garlic to sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms. The mushrooms may need additional oil to sauté fully. When the mushrooms are tender and have reduced a bit in size – about 5 minutes – add in the Herbsaint.

Reduce the liquid down until it is almost gone, then add cream and reduce by half.

Remove the pot from the heat and add in the herbs, Parmesan, bread crumbs and cayenne pepper. Taste and add more salt and black pepper if needed.

Assembling the oysters:

Wash the whole oyster shells in an icy, salty water bath. Use an oyster knife to open the shell of the oysters at the hinge. Be careful here and make sure to protect your opposite hand with a towel. Once you've broken the suction of the oyster shells, slide the tip of the knife into the opening and release the oyster from the connection above. Repeat for the connection below. If necessary, give the oysters a quick dip in clean icy, salty water to remove any dirt or bits of shell. Use a large spoon to fill the shells with your stuffing on top of the raw oysters. Use the convex curve of the spoon to shape the stuffing on the shell to make them look nice.

You can cook the oysters on a grill or smoker or in the oven. The oysters are ready when the stuffing has turned a nice dark color and crusted over and the oyster has begun to bubble on the edge where the stuffing meets the shell.

Remove from heat and serve. Serves 4 as an appetizer. Enjoy!


Chef Nealy Frentz, Lola, Covington

This classically Southern dessert is deceptively simple to make and oh so hard to resist. It's a popular choice at Nealy Frentz's restaurant, Lola, in downtown Covington.

  • 1 18.25-ounce box yellow cake mix (yes, boxed mix)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Ooey Gooey Filling (recipe follows)

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch square pan.
Blend the cake mix, egg, and butter in mixing bowl. Press the crumbly mixture on
the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Spread the filling over the crumb mixture
in the pan. Bake until golden brown and firm, about forty-five minutes to one hour.
Cool for thirty minutes and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Serves 8.

OOEY GOOEY FILLING INGREDIENTS: Ooey Gooey Cake from fun funky fabulous

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 stick salted butter, melted
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar

Combine butter, cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a mixing bowl and
beat until smooth.

From Fun, Funky, and Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes by Jyl Benson, photography by Sam Hanna, © 2015 by Jyl Benson, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.


Courtesy Chef Kim Kringlie, Dakota Restaurant, Covington, LA
INGREDIENTSChef Kim Kringlie of Dakota's Lump Crabmeat & Brie Soup
  • 2 lbs. fresh Louisiana blue crabs
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 pod garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 oz. brandy 
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 qts. heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. Brie cheese
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. picked jumbo lump crabmeat

Using a meat mallet or hammer, crack open crab shells until meat is exposed. In a 1-gallon stockpot, heat olive oil; add cracked crabs and sauté for 5 minutes. Add vegetables and bay leaves; continue to sauté for 5 minutes. 

Add brandy, white wine, and water; bring to simmer over medium heat and cook for 45 minutes. Using a skimmer remove crabs and vegetables from stock. 

In a small sauté skillet, melt butter and blend in flour until smooth and creamy; simmer over low heat for one minute. 

Add mixture to stock using a wire whisk until roux is dissolved. Add heavy cream and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Remove outside rind from Brie and discard, cut cheese into 1” cubes and add to stock stirring constantly until cheese completely melts. Season soup with salt, white pepper, and cayenne. 

Strain soup through a fine strainer; add jumbo lump crabmeat and serve.

Yields 1 gallon.


Courtesy of Chef's Keith and Nealy Frentz, Lola, Covington
  • 1 lb. mild shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and minced
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. Leo & Perrins Worchester sauce
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry yellow mustard

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. Chill before use. 

  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • Zest and juice from half of the orange
  • 1/4 bottle of red wine 

In a pot with a heavy bottom, add butter, onion, and garlic. Let sweat down, then add bacon. Cook 5 minutes, then add remaining ingredients. Cook and reduce down until thick and syrupy in texture. This process takes about 20-30 minutes on medium to low heat. 

  • 2 red onions sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp. juniper berry
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a pot and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, place in a container and chill in ice bath. Store in fridge.


Layer pimento cheese, bacon marmalade, and pickled red onion on top of toasted baguette slices. Serve and enjoy!

Best to prepare pimento cheese, bacon marmalade, and pickled red onion the day before serving. Assemble and serve the day of the event. 

Makes 20 appetizer-sized portions.


Courtesy Poppy Tooker, author and radio personality
  • 2 onions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 – 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste
  • 8 redfish fillets
  • cooked rice

Chop one onion and slice the other into long, thin strips. Chop the green bell pepper and slice the red and yellow peppers into long, thin strips. Chop two of the celery stalks and slice the other two into strips.



Add 3 tablespoons oil to a deep skillet. Over a medium high heat sauté the red and yellow pepper strips, the onion strips and the celery strips. Remove from the pan and reserve.

Make a roux by adding the remainder of the oil into the pan combined with the flour. Cook together until the roux is a milk chocolate color. Add the chopped onions and cook until the roux darkens to bittersweet chocolate brown. Add chopped celery and chopped bell pepper. Add the tomatoes and juice, squeezing each by hand into the pot to crush. Zest and juice one lemon and add to the sauce with the garlic and herbs. Simmer together for 25-30 minutes. Add the sautéed onion,  celery and bell pepper and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Add green onions and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Place the redfish fillets into the courtbouillon. Spoon some of the sauce on top and top each fillet with a lemon slice. Cover and cook for an additional 5 -10 minutes. Correct seasonings – salt, pepper, and hot sauce – and serve over rice.

Alternate method – bake or sauté the fish separately and serve with the sauce on top cooked fish.

Serves 8.

From Louisiana Eats! The People, the Food and Their Stories by Poppy Tooker, c. 2013 Poppy Tooker, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.


Courtesy Chef Gavin Jobe, Meribo, Covington

Active Time: 45 min      Total Time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS: Meribo Squash Risotto
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1tbs. vegetable or mildly flavored oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 delicata squash or 1 acorn squash (for garnish)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ cups ham stock (could sub chicken)
  • 2 tbs. heavy cream
  • 2 tbs. shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 8 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto or country ham
  • 4 oz by weight ricotta salata cheese
  • 16 sage leaves
  • Salt to taste

Split the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Split those halves lengthwise so you have 4 even pieces. If you are using delicata squash for your garnish, cut into rings approximately ½” thick, and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. If you are using acorn squash, you will want to cut it into wedges about 1” wide at their widest point. 


Next, place squash on an oiled baking sheet and roast in a 400-degree oven, turning once halfway through, for 30 minutes or until they are fork tender. The delicata or acorn squash may be done before the butternut. Once the butternut squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh and put into a food processor until smooth. You will need 1 cup of the squash puree. The rest can be seasoned and eaten as a side dish later. Set aside the squash garnish for later use.

Fry the country ham or prosciutto in a deep fryer, shallow pan with a bit of oil, or bake on a baking sheet until it is crispy like a chip. Do the same thing with the sage leaves. Set both of them aside until it is time to eat.

Now on to the risotto. Combine both stocks in a small pot and bring to a low simmer, just so it is hot. This is so you can add hot stock to your risotto as it cooks without dropping the temperature of the risotto in your pan. In a large flat-bottomed saucepan, over medium to low heat, sweat the shallot in the butter and oil with a pinch of salt until translucent. Be careful to avoid getting any color on the shallots. Add the Arborio to the pan, stirring it to coat with the oil in the pan, and keep it moving for 3-4 minutes to toast the rice. Add about 1/2 cup of stock at first and continue to add stock slowly, keeping just enough liquid in it to keep it from sticking, stirring constantly but slowly. Once the risotto is almost fully cooked (15-20 minutes) add the squash puree, cream, and Parmigiano Reggiano and stir well to combine it all. Cook another minute or two until done. Season to taste with kosher salt. Risotto should not stand up like mashed potatoes. It should spread out to fill whatever vessel it is served in.

Spoon the risotto into bowls, then top with rings of delicata squash, crisp ham, fried sage leaves, and crumbled ricotta salata cheese. Enjoy!

Baby Root Stuffing

Courtesy Chef Luke Hidalgo, Hambone,  Mandeville
Ingredients: (serves 10)
  • 4 smoked ham shanks (substitute with ham hocks if shanks are not available)
  • Mirepoix (for stock):
    • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
    • 4 stalks celery, chopped
    • 2 large carrots, chopped
    • 1 bulb garlic, chopped
    • 6 sprigs thyme, minced
    • 2 sprigs rosemary, minced
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 dozen (or so) each baby root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes or radishes
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • French bread (approximately 8 loaves) cut into 2-inch cubes and allowed to dry out in a paper bag for 1 to 2 days (Leidenheimer is Chef Hidalgo’s personal favorite bread; it can be ordered online)
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Steen’s sugarcane vinegar (optional; it can be ordered online)
Make Stock:
  1. Place the ham shanks in a stockpot can and cover with cool water. Bring the pot to a brisk simmer and skim off any foam that may come to the surface with a ladle.
  2. Turn to very low heat, add in the mirepoix mixture (chopped onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and herbs). Allow to gently simmer for 3 hours. Once done, fish out the ham shanks and allow to cool separately on a plate.
  3. Strain and reserve the remaining liquid broth.
  4. To slightly thicken and season the broth, make a blonde roux (mix 1/2 cup oil and 1 cup flour) in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Slowly whisk the hot broth into the blonde roux and bring to a simmer. Judge the thickness of the gravy when combining; it should lightly coat the back spoon. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, reserve for later.
  5. Pick the meat off the cooled ham shanks and reserve for later.
Prep Root Vegetables:
  1. Wash vegetables thoroughly with cool water and trim excess stems.
  2. Cut each baby root vegetable in halves or quarters, depending on size (all the vegetables need to be about equal in size so that they cook evenly). Add cut vegetables to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Slice the onions and add to the bowl with the cut vegetables.
  4. Pick the thyme and rosemary leaves off the stem and mince them roughly; add to the bowl.
  5. Give everything a nice amount of olive oil so each vegetable has a slight sheen. Toss and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Lay the vegetables on a large pan and roast them in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Ideally, the vegetables will cook long enough to have deep color to enhance their flavor.
Assemble the Stuffing:

1.  In a large mixing bowl, add half the dried bread, all the roasted root vegetables, and ham shank meat. Give it a quick mix.
2.  Ladle in the ham shank gravy and continue to mix and turn it over with a large spoon. Once the bread starts soaking up the sauce, add a bit more bread and gravy until you have a good ratio (the stuffing should have a little bit more moisture than you may think, because it tends to dry out a bit as it sits).
3. Taste the mixture and season with more salt, pepper or cayenne pepper, if desired.
*Tip from Chef Hidalgo: I really love Steen’s sugarcane vinegar. It’s especially great in a recipe like this when stuffing is very rich, and an acidic ingredient can cut through that richness to balance the flavors. I use it liberally … give it 5 or 6 good shakes, mix, and re-taste.
4. Lastly, put the stuffing into the dish or roasting pan you intend to serve it in. Either refrigerate it or if you’re ready to serve, roast it in the oven until the top is crisp about 1 minute. A bit of color and texture on the top will make for a great presentation.


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Our culinary scene is deep and delicious, influenced by the bounty of the bayou and sure to satisfy everyone.