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Seafood Gumbo
Oyster Dressing
Tartar Sauce
Buttermilk Pie
Pizza Sandwich
Beef and Veggie Soup
Potato Salad
Puerto Rican Turkey
New Orleans Roast Beef Po'boy
Speckled Trout Bordelaise
Shrimp-Stuffed Squash
Boiled Shrimp - Crabs
Grandma O'Neil's Date Nut Bread

Seafood Gumbo-New Orleans Style

Serves 6:

1 lb okra, sliced
1 bay leaf (remove before serving)
1/4 cup shortening
2 tsp Cavender's Greek Seasoning
2 Tbl flour
2 quarts water or fish stock
1 onion chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
I bunch green onion, chopped
1/2 lb crab meat or 1 dozen crabs*
3 Tbl butter
1 Tbl chopped bell pepper
2 toes garlic chopped fine
1 pound shrimp, cleaned
1 jar oysters ( check for shells )
2 sprigs parsley , chopped
1 can ( 10 1/2 ounces ) tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tsp file, if desired

*If crabs or used: Scald live hard-shelled crabs and clean, removing the spongy substance and the "sand bag" on the under part. Break off and crack the claws and cut the body in half.

In a frying pan:
Fry okra in 2 Tbl shortening until it ceases to "rope" ( slimy strings connecting the okra ).
This takes about 30-45 minutes. Take your time and don't burn it. It's worth the trouble. Set aside.

In a heavy iron skillet:
Make the roux with the remaining shortening and the flour. Fry slowly until dark brown and smells great. Don't burn. Set aside.

In the Gumbo Pot:
Melt the butter and fry the onions and celery until soft. About 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp, oysters, garlic and bell pepper and simmer about two more minutes.
Now, add the rest of the ingredients: tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, Cavender's or thyme, water or stock, roux, fried okra and crabs.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for at least 30 minutes longer. Some people cook Gumbo for hours. I don't think that's necessary. Some people cook it in the morning, refrigerate it and reheat for supper. That works.
It should be served with hot rice. Crackers and file on the side.

Oyster Dressing

Veggies - chopped fine
1 onion - I use 1/2 white and 1/2 red.
2 stalks celery
2 Tbl Bell Pepper - I don't use the skin. I fillet it !
2 cloves Garlic
2 Tbl Parsley
Bread - 1 to 1 1/3 Loaves
You can use stale French Bread, White Bread or a light Wheat. Wet it slightly, then squeeze out all of the water. Reserve some dry bread for correcting the dressing later.
1 Stick Butter ( Oleo )
2 lightly beaten eggs
Seasonings -
Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1 Pint oysters - cut up. You can cut them up as they're cooking. Check for shells.

Simmer veggies in the butter till onions are clear. Add the oysters and simmer till cooked.
Allow to cool a little so the eggs don't cook.
Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Dressing should be moist, but not soggy. If it's too wet, add some dry bread to the mix.
Stuff into the body cavity and craw.
After stuffing the turkey, cover the dressing with tin foil. The turkey should be covered with a separate piece of foil for all but the last hour of baking.
During the last hour of cooking, baste the dressing in the body cavity twice with two large spoonfuls of the drippings.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup Mayo (Kraft is my favorite)
3 T chopped dill pickle (Heinze is preferred), relish is O.K.
1 T chopped onion (a mix of white, yellow, red or green is O.K.)

This simple version is good.
Extras: Add to recipe by themselves, or in combination. (experiment)

1/4 cup sour cream
1 finely chopped boiled egg yolk
A dash of garlic powder
1 T chopped salad olives (with pimentos)
½ t chopped parsley (fresh)
½ t chopped capers
½ t dried tarragon
1 t Creole mustard
Substitute sweet pickles for dill.

Buttermilk Pie

1 1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Stick Melted Butter(Oleo)
1/4 Cup Flour
3 Eggs
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/3 Cup Shredded Coconut
Pie Shell

Combine sugar and flour.
Then, mix in the buttermilk, melted oleo and vanilla.
Beat eggs and fold into the batter.
Pour into unbaked pie-crust.
Sprinkle the shredded coconut evenly on the top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake for 15min., then, turn down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 min.

Something this good is usually harder to make !

Pizza Sandwich

I've tweaked a lot of recipes to my liking, but this is the only one that I can truly call an original.
It probably came about by simply using what was available at the time. Serendipity at its finest.

This works best with a toaster oven.

Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Genoa salami or pepperoni
Sliced tomato
Salt & Pepper

Toast one side of two slices of bread.
On one slice of the untoasted bread place the Mozzarella cheese.
On the other slice place the meat and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Broil. Browning brings out the taste.
When done ... spread the Mayo on the cheese side and place the salted and peppered tomato on the other side.
Join together for a Pizza Sandwich.

Beef and Veggie Soup

1 lb. Beef shank, center cut with marrow bones
1 med. onion chopped
5 carrots sliced
3 stalks celery
1 medium to large potato
1 cup fresh green beans cut up
1 or 2 ears fresh corn cut in half
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 Tbl. cooking oil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp.Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
1/8 tsp. cumin powder

Use a large pot that can be covered:
Brown the salted and peppered meat along with the onion in 2 Tbl. oil. Uncovered.
Add the tomatoes, garlic powder, 1 sliced carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk and all of the seasonings except the cumin.
Add water to cover meat and veggies by 1 inch. Cover and boil slowly for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender.
Check water level occasionally.
Add the corn, green beans and the rest of the carrots and celery and continue boiling for another 10 minutes.
Test seasoning.
Add the potatoes and cumin and boil another 10 minutes.

Serve with crackers or bread and butter.

Potato Salad

Credit for this recipe goes to my mother, Marjorie Buhler O'Neil. The potato salad at our house was always the best and different from all others.

Potatoes ... 4 cups diced and cooked
Red Onion ... 2 T chopped fine
Green Onion ... 1T chopped fine
Celery ... 5T chopped fine
Parsley ... 1T chopped fine
Salad Olives ... 5T chopped
Eggs ... 3 hardboiled chopped
Mayonaise ... to taste
Red Wine Vinegar ... 1t
White Pepper ... sprinkle to taste
Black Pepper ... sprinkle to taste
Salt ... to taste

Mix and chill before serving

Puerto Rican Turkey

Chile Ancho ... four medium ... remove stems and seeds and boil for 15 minutes.
After they cool, scrape the soft pulp off the skin. Use the pulp finely chopped.
Pasilla Chile - powdered 1T
Guajilla Chile -- powdered 1T
Garlic ... ten good sized toes. Squeeze through press and mix with the Chile.
Rub the mixture on the Turkey.
Salt and pepper the Turkey.

Start to bake in covered roasting pan at 325 degrees.
After 1 1/2 hours add the sauce, which is:
Two 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
16 oz. of wine (red burgundy is preferred).
Baste with the sauce every 30 minutes until done.
Uncover about 45 min. before done, so turkey can brown.
After turkey cools somewhat, pour off sauce into a boiler and reduce about 35 to 50 percent.
Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Dip the turkey in the sauce. It tastes best at warm room temp.

I learned this recipe in Fairbanks, Alaska from a Puerto Rican fellow soldier.

New Orleans Roast Beef Po'boy

Ah, now, the elusive New Orleans roast beef po’boy can be made at home.
Having grown up one block from Parasol’s Restaurant and Bar, I have been spoiled by eating the best po’boys available in the city of New Orleans.
To anyone who shared a similar upbringing, Parasol's will forever be the benchmark by which all po'boys are judged.
Here are the elements to getting the right taste and texture of this legendary po’boy:

1. The Bread.
If you’re in New Orleans you should be able to find good po’boy bread. If not, you have to search for a nice light, airy French bread that has a good crust.
Yeasty, heavy/dense and sour dough breads should not be used.
The bread should not be chewy; in fact, a sign of a good bread is when you bite in to it, little flakes of crust drop onto your plate.
The H.E.B. store in Atascocita, TX sells a small French-type roll called a BOLILLO that is great.
They are just the right size for a po'boy!
But, it’s hard to believe what some stores try to pass off as French Bread.
Be careful.

2. Pickles.
I don’t know what kind Parasol’s uses, but they are incredible.
However, thinly sliced Heinz Genuine Dills will suffice. Allow to warm to room temperature before using.

3. Mayonnaise.
The Parasol's and New Orleans' favorite is Blue Plate. If you can't get it use Kraft Real Mayonnaise. Don’t even think about low fat.

4. Lettuce.
Slice it thin like you’re making cole slaw. Bring to room temperature.

5. Tomatoes.
Use ripe tomatoes and slice them thin.

The Meat.
So far, I got my my best results when using a bottom round roast.
I seasoned it with McCormick’s Garlic Pepper Blend and a little salt.
Then, I got it brown on all sides by frying in peanut oil in a Dutch Oven.
Water was added about halfway up the roast and the simmering on a very low fire was started. The pot should be covered.
I then added some additional seasoning. Vary according to your taste.
6 - 10 toes of finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. Cavender’s Greek
1/4 tsp. - 1/2 tsp. Zatarain’s Creole
Let it simmer for about an hour and a half.
Then, take out the meat and slice it thinly across the grain; this adds to the tenderness. Put the juices back in the pot. Return the meat to the gravy and let it simmer for about 2 more hours or until it is very tender. You don't want it to fall apart.
Then, add some brown roux to thicken the gravy to the right consistency. If the gravy needs drastic reduction, remove the meat first.
Correct the seasoning to taste and you're done.

Building the po’boy.

I like to slightly warm the bread before I start making the po’boy.
Put the Mayo on one side of the bread, the meat and gravy on the other.
Add the lettuce, tomato and pickle, join the halves and put back in the 325 degree oven until the bread feels hot and crispy. About 5 to 10 minutes.
This last step is very important. The flavors will come together in a magical way.
Have plenty napkins at the ready; if you made it right, you will need them.

Leo O’Neil
BTW … It only took me 40 years to figure this out.

Speckled Trout Bordelaise

Fresh Filet of Fish
Butter or Oleo
Olive Oil
Chopped Onion … for a 10" pan I use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup.
Cavender's Greek Seasoning
Zatarain's or Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Roasted Garlic
Blanched Slivered Almonds-3 Tbl.
Salt and Pepper
Lemon Juice
Optional: a little wine

About Roasted Garlic:
When I go to a five star restaurant I always notice an incredible aroma that whets my appetite .... roasted garlic! Fantastico, and it's so easy to do. Separate several nice size cloves, rub on some olive oil and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
The inside should look light brown.
Let them cool and squeeze the garlic out of the skin to add to your dish. Wow! What a difference it makes.

Melt enough butter to cover bottom of pan with 1/16 inch of butter.
Add from a tsp. to a Tbl. of Olive Oil to taste.
Add chopped onion, sprinkle on some Cavender's and add Roasted Garlic.
Sauté onions until they are transparent.
Season fish with the listed seasonings to taste(I use just a touch of the Zatarain's), add to pan along with the almonds and sauté till done.
Make the fire hot enough to brown everything.
About 2 minutes before it's done, you can add a few drops of wine, if desired. Don't over-season the fish. Remember, the onions and sauce have already been seasoned.

After cooking this a few times, you'll get the seasoning right for your taste.
Serve the fish with the onion and butter-sauce poured over the top.
I like a few drops of lemon juice on it as well.
A good wine really rounds out all the flavors.
The wine that inspired me to write out this recipe was "Bolla - Bardolino". I know it's red, but it was fabulous. This also works very well for shrimp. Cook shrimp with the shells on. It really improves the flavor.
Hot French Bread goes well with the shrimp dish.

Bon appetit


Shrimp-Stuffed Squash

6 large Mirlitons …..for Texans, Chayote Squash.
2 Zucchini
2 Mexican Squash or 2 more Zucchini
1 Onion, chopped
8 toes garlic ….. pan roasted in a little olive on a low fire. When done (about 5 minutes) remove skin and mash.
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 Green Pepper chopped
3 Stalks Celery chopped
4 Tbl. Olive Oil
4 Tbl. Margarine
1 to 11/2 cups Progresso Italian bread crumbs. Don’t get too dry when combining.
4 Tbl. freshly grated Romano cheese
2 lbs. of fresh shrimp, peeled and cut into pieces
2 to 3 tsp. Cavender’s Greek seasoning
1 Egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper

Cooking Instructions
Remove the skin of the mirlitons with a potato peeler.
Cut mirlitons in half and boil until tender...but not mushy. About 30 minutes.
Remove seed in center and also, remove any tough or sticky skin. Dice.
Reserve boiling liquid; it may be needed to loosen stuffing.
Cut up the other squash and boil for about 3 minutes (Don’t overcook). Dice.
In a frying pan, sauté onions, celery, green pepper and Cavender’s in oil and margarine until the onions are transparent.
Add the garlic and shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink -- about two minutes.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except ¼ cup bread crumbs and mix well.
Add some of the reserved liquid to loosen if necessary. It’s rarely needed.
Place in a casserole dish. Sprinkle top with the ¼ cup bread crumbs.
Bake at 365º until bubbly and top is starting to brown. About 40 to 45 minutes.
It's really good the next day, too.

Boiled Shrimp - Crabs

For 5 lbs. of shrimp, use I Box of Zatarain's or Rex's Crab Boil.
I also add:
1 onion chopped
7-10 toes of garlic chopped
1 lemon, quartered and squeezed into the brew.
Chopped Celery and/or Bell Pepper if desired.
Use enough salt so that the brew tastes very salty.
I also add red and black pepper. I like it hot.
Boil this mixture for at least 15 minutes.
Then, add the shrimp and simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow them to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Extra tips:
Always use head-on shrimp. The fat in the heads really adds flavor.
Some people remove the shrimp from the water after a couple of minutes, let the water cool down to where it won’t overcook the shrimp and then, return the shrimp to soak until they are seasoned just right.
In New Orleans, the shrimp are served cold with ketchup and horse radish available. Beer, too.
I reserve some of the cooking liquid to use as a dip for extra flavor.
When the shrimp are finished cooking you can use the liquid to cook corn or potatoes.
Cook Crabs or Crawfish for 5-10 minutes (fatter crabs take longer) and allow to soak for 20-30 minutes. Bon Appetit, Leo O'Neil

Grandma O'Neil's Date Nut Bread

1 pound dates, chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter/margarine
1 egg
1 and 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dates with boiling water to which baking soda has been added.
Cream butter, sugar and then add the egg. Add water and date mixture.
Sift flour, spices and baking powder together, add mixture and mix well. Add nuts and vanilla.
Bake in "loaf pan". Bake around 1 hour at 325 degrees until done.
Test by putting toothpick or ice pick into center. If it comes out clean the cake is done.

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This page and all it's contents are Copyright © 1996 by Leo O'Neil, Crosby, Texas -- U.S.A.