A Taste of New Orleans

by Chef Golda Ewalt

A recent trip to New Orleans offered some amazing culinary experiences, as you might imagine. Though “just” a sandwich shop, Turkey and the Wolf was named the best new restaurant in America by Bon Appétit in 2017.

We stopped by to sample the collard green sandwich and sip on a Sazerac—one of the oldest American cocktails, invented circa 1838 and proclaimed New Orleans’ official cocktail in 2008. Enjoy these NOLA-inspired flavors!

Toasted Cheese and Greens
Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients
Collards
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup water
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
10 cups (packed) torn greens, stems removed (collard, kale, Swiss chard or any combination)

Slaw
2 cups of store-bought or home-made creamy coleslaw

Russian Dressing
½ cup reduced-fat mayo with olive oil
¼ cup chopped pickled pepperoncini peppers
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon ketchup
3/8 teaspoon black pepper

Assembly
12 thin slices caraway rye or whole wheat bread
8 thick-cut slices deli-style Swiss cheese

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add water, vinegar, sugar, Creole seasoning, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, add the greens, tossing in liquid to wilt. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are dark green and very soft, about 25-30 minutes, until all liquid is gone, just enough to coat greens.
  2. While the greens are cooking, make the Russian dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat broiler to low. Place 8 slices of bread on a rimmed backing sheet and toast, checking every 30 seconds, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Turn and toast second side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Top each toast with slice of cheese and broil until melted and starting to brown, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to work surface.
  4. Place remaining 4 slices of bread on same baking sheet and toast, checking every 30 seconds, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Turn and toast second side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Divide 2 cups coleslaw among 4 cheesy toasts. Use a slotted spoon to let most of the liquid drain off the slaw. Top with remaining 4 cheesy toasts, cheesy side facing the slaw. Divide collard greens among cheesy toasts. Generously spread one side of plain toasts with dressing and place dressing side down on collard greens to close sandwiches. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

 


Sazerac Cocktail
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients
¼ teaspoon absinthe, pastis, Pernod or Green Chartreuse
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon cold water
4 dashes bitters
2½ ounces rye whiskey
Ice
Lemon peel for garnish

Directions

  1. Chill an old fashioned glass. In a shaker, stir the sugar, water and bitters until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rye and ice, stir until well chilled.
  2. Pour absinthe, pastis, Pernod or Green Chartreuse into the chilled glass and rotate the glass until the inside is coated. Strain rye mixture into the coated glass. Twist the lemon peel over the glass to release its oil and then drop into the cocktail. a&s

 

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