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Re/Deconstructing Your Favorite Local Recipes

Hello, All:

I am midway through working an ancho chile sauce which is alleged to be the prep used at El Camino for its exquisite mussel dish. Smells authentic so far...

So that begs the question: Do you have a certain prep you treasure from a local resto, that is Goldilocks "Just Right"?

On my secret list, I think I have Duke's' clam chowder, Canlis' coddled egg salad dressing, and Lofurno's gorgonzola dressing recipes.

What's on your list? Bonus points for the keys to Le Pichet's duck pate...

And, what's on your WANT list, the prep you just can't re/deconstruct?


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  1. call me twisted but if I take the time to make clam chowder or duck pate I don't want it to taste like anyone else's or a purchased product - besides losing the pleasure of going out for deliciousness

    1 Reply
    1. re: howard 1st

      Hi, Howard:

      No, I won't call you twisted. But you are all wet and blankety...;


    2. Re-construction is not something I attempt too much, but I did ask Matt's about a heirloom tomato and fennel soup and they gave me a recipe.

      I'd like to know how to make the date cake what Lark was serving about 5 years ago, also. It was outstanding.

      1. After numerous trips to Antoine's in NOLA, Oysters Rockefeller. No spinach, lots of celery.

        1. On my want list: The curry salad dressing at The Attic. I'm sure it's simple, but I haven't gotten it right yet. I also haven't had the nerve to ask if I could buy a pint. Maybe if I had it every day for a week it wouldn't be as special.

          1. Just google 'Dukes clam chowder recipe',that's how I got it.My husband still prefers my NY/East Coast Chowda' much better though!

            1 Reply
            1. re: grangie angie

              Likewise, Canlis has the recipe for their famed original Canlis salad, including the dressing with coddled eggs, up on their web site. The New York Times published a slightly tweaked version, as well. That is a wonderful salad, it has stood the test of time admirably.

              Over the years, I have tended to resist the temptation to replicate restaurant dishes (and cocktails) in my home kitchen. I became obsessive about cracking the code for a few restaurant dishes in the past, and eventually found I'd just rather eat things at home I don't eat when out, and vice-versa, (thinking of George Costanza's fear of what happens when his "worlds collide").

              But like INDIANRIVERFL, I still do like to chase some non-local preps, especially from Louisiana. My best home dish this year was a faux Commander's Palace "Shrimp and Tasso Henican."

            2. I've been replicating Dinette's truffled-egg toast at home for years (though we still go there regularly.)

              It's basically a thin egg crepe cut into ribbons served over some really excellent toasted bread with aioli, frisee, and a little truffle oil (which, yes, i know, does not get its flavor from actual truffles but is still amazing on eggs.)

              On the 'WANT list,' hands-down, Palace Kitchen's chicken wings. They've really got those down to a science; I'd love the recipe.

              1. I managed to re-create Café Presse pork Rillettes after a couple of tries (hint; it's the allspice that gives that haunting linger!) - and my exBF, who took some to his family in France for christmas, said his uncle declared them the best he's ever had TYVM:)

                Sorry, Kaleo, since I am a Presse girl, rather than LePichet, and P doesn't have the duck paté. I can't help you there.... :(

                I would love to be able to figure out quite what made the blue-cheese dressing so insanely good at the long-departed Point No Point Cafe, or how to re-create Ivar's clam chowder at home. I used to buy the concentrate you could get in the grocery store that you added milk to, and that was really good, but the pre-made stuff they sell now is no where near. I DO know that the recipe has powdered milk in it.....

                4 Replies
                1. re: gingershelley

                  Please consider posting the rillettes recipe on Home Cooking board and putting link here. I've never made my own rillettes and would love to try.

                  1. re: Laurella


                    I don't have a 'recipe' per se yet, more a method, as it has needed tweeking each time I have made it depending on how quickly the pork got tender, and how much extra good lard I have had to add.

                    Really simple; buy GOOD pork and extra pork fat (like from The Swinery or such), slowly cook the pork in water with spices (thyme, s & P, garlic, allspice) until it wants to fall apart and has given up all it's fat and the water is nearly evaporated - this takes several hours. Drain. Save pork and liquid, when liquid is cold, skim the fat and save. put pork back into pot with it's own fat and extra, adjust seasonings while it warms up. Shred with two forks. Pack the meat into little jars or pots and cover with fat. Keeps for months in the fridge.

                    Has been known to travel to France and be out of the fridge for 2 days during transport and not kill anyone on Christmas Eve :)

                  2. re: gingershelley

                    There's at least 5-6 recipes(Google) for Ivar's clam chowder,
                    much more simple then Duke's,who is now giving out recipe cards w/ their chowder recipe on it.Just there the other day and also got recipe card for their delish macadamia nut encrusted halibut ....so good!

                    1. re: grangie angie

                      I personally don't care for Duke's chowder... too much going on in there.

                      As for the 'published' recipe for Ivar's chowder, it's not the actual recipe. I worked at Acre's of Clams in my late 20's for a few years as a server, and I KNOW that the chowder actually contains powdered milk, clam juice (more than would be in a can of clams), and Worcestershire sauce (not much, but some). The taste and texture were different than the published recipes. I am sure this was due to it needing to sit in a gallon-plus warmer/bain marie for all-day service, but it somehow worked much better than just the 1/2 & 1/2 etc. they SAY is the recipe. Sigh.