Welcome to the next creative installment of our Sonesta Chefs at Home series! We’ve all been spending more time at home this summer, and that includes some of our executive chefs, but that doesn’t mean the cooking, creating, and enjoyment of food has stopped! We continue to put our chefs to the test as they return to work and share with you here what they are making at home.
Today we welcome Executive Chef Jason Routzahn at Royal Sonesta New Orleans, to share his twist on a few summer favorites. Read on to hear from Chef Jason and to learn about what he might be eating (and drinking) this week.
As promised you’ll find Chef Jason’s recipes below for Soft Shell Crab BLT with Cajun Mayo & Fries.
Soft Shell Crab BLT
1 Medium-Large Soft Shell Crab
1 Loaf Bread (I prefer Brioche)
1 Package Bacon (I like Apple-wood Smoked thick sliced.)
½ cup Tempura Mix
½ cup Milk (I prefer buttermilk.)
1 Large Ripe Red Tomato
1 Head of Lettuce (I love to use Bibb or Butter)
¼ cup Mayo
Salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning to taste
Chef’s Tip: Remember it’s important to stay hydrated during cooking so I recommend you take a SIP of your drink where I do during this recipe. I prefer a nice buttery Chardonnay!
Place Tempura flour in a small bowl. Do not add liquid as directions on box will say. (I only use the flour mix of the tempura not a batter.) Place a pinch of salt and pepper in the flour along with 1 tsp of Cajun seasoning then mix. Place your milk in a small bowl, adding the crab into the milk bath to coat flipping crab over to coat top and bottom. The now bathed crab is ready to be tossed top and bottom in the seasoned tempura flour. (SIP) Shake and gently place crab in fryer. Cooking time will vary depending on size of crab. (Approximately 2 mins)
While crab is frying (SIP) slice tomatoes to desired thickness. Clean lettuce and pull approximately 4-5 whole leaves to use on the sandwich. (I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU SIP DURING THIS PART AS YOU HAVE A VERY SHARP KNIFE IN YOUR HANDS) Once crab is done frying let rest on a paper towel lined plate. Next the bacon! Let’s fry the bacon. . . yes, you can put it into the oven, microwave or even pan fry it if you want – but why not toss 4-5 strips into the fryer for that flavor and crispiness! (NOW SIP) Once done let it rest beside its co-partner, the crab.
Now let’s build our sandwich. . . remember that Cajun mayo?! Add it to both slices of the Brioche bread (this can be toasted or not – chef’s choice) I say TOASTED! (SIP) Now after you slather that Cajun mayo on both slices – add the lettuce, tomatoes, bacon then yes yes yes the CRAB! (SIP) Seal the deal and place the last piece of toast on top.
1 tsp Cajun Seasoning (I like Justin Wilson brand as it has less salt.)
1/4 cup Mayo
1 tsp Hot Sauce (optional)
Mix together in a small bowl the mayo and Cajun Seasoning. (SIP) I like a dash of hot sauce to mine for that extra kick! This will be spread on both sides of the bread when making almost any sandwich.
Fresh Cut Fries
1-2 Large Russet Potatoes
Leaving the skin on, cut the potatoes into long thin strips and put in a large bowl of clean ice water to remove some starch, this will help prevent them from sticking together, and stop the oxidizing process. (SIP)
In a small fryer, heat the oil until it reaches 320 degrees F. Remove the potatoes from the water and pat dry. Fry the potatoes until they go from shiny to matte, 3 to 5 minutes (SIP) (Note: This is also called blanching.) Drain well on paper towels. (SIP) Re-heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees F and fry the potatoes again until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside.
Remove from the oil, drain well, and toss with salt and your Cajun seasoning, or any other seasoning you prefer. (SIP)
Serve hot. Maybe with a side of Cajun Mayo!
See what important lesson Chef Jason learned from his mom: Top Chefs Share Their Moms’ Love With These 18 Inspiring Recipes
Read all of the posts in our Chefs at Home series!