Chef John Besh offers new recipes in "My Family Table"

Chef John Besh 











Crown Roast of Pork with Dirty Rice Stuffing


  • 1 pound fresh pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken livers, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 teaspoon pimentón
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Crown Roast:

  • 1 pork crown roast, tied
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°. For the dressing, brown the pork sausage and andouille sausage in the bacon drippings in a heavy skillet over high heat, stirring constantly. Once the sausage meat has browned, add the onions and continue stirring for another 3–5 minutes, then add the chicken livers. Make sure the livers have a chance to cook for a minute or two. Then add the celery, bell peppers, green onions, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook until soft.

Add the rice and pimentón and stir well so that the grains of rice are coated with the fat. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

For the crown roast, rub the roast inside and out with soft butter and season generously with thyme, salt, and pepper. Place the roast in a deep roasting pan and fill the center with the rice dressing. Wrap the ends of each rib bone with foil to prevent burning. Secure with butcher's string. Cook for 1 hour, or until the pork roast reaches 145? on a meat thermometer and is a deep honey brown.

Remove the string from the roast, slice and serve one chop per person along with some succulent dressing.

Serves: 8


American : Blue Crab & Sausage Stew

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 5 jumbo blue crabs, quartered
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts shellfish broth
  • 1 pound spicy smoked sausage links, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 dashes Original TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound crabmeat, picked over
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4–6 cups cooked Louisiana white rice

Heat the canola oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Throw in the crabs and toast, about 7 minutes a side, stirring. A beautiful aroma will fill the room.

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir with a wooden spoon until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Dust the flour over the ingredients in the pot, stirring constantly, and add the tomato paste and garlic. Stir for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to keep the crabs from burning.

Add the shellfish broth and bring to a boil. Add the sausage, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir and lower the heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Season with TABASCO® Sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Add the crabmeat, green onions, and butter, stirring gently to mix well. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve the stew in bowls over rice.

Serves: 10


Roasted Pear Salad with Tobasco Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

  • 4 ripe pears*, halved and cored
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt

TABASCO® Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup TABASCO® Pepper Jelly
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sambal chile paste
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil


  • 5 heads Belgian endive, cored and leaves separated
  • 2 handfuls mixed bitter green leaves
  • 2 cups blue cheese, crumbled into chunks
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted

For the pears, preheat the oven to 425°. In a small bowl, drizzle the pears with the olive oil, sprinkle with the sugar and salt, and toss to coat well. Transfer the pears to a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the pepper jelly, the red wine vinegar, the sambal chile paste and the canola oil. Whisk until well mixed.

To assemble the salad, combine the endive leaves and bitter greens in a large serving bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat well. Wait until just before serving to top with the pears, blue cheese, and pecans.

Serves: 8


Baked Oysters With Wild Mushroom Ragout

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 10 minuntes

For the Oysters:

  • 2 dozen oysters

For the Aioli:

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Ragout:

  • 1 cup diced thick-sliced hickory-smoked bacon
  • 1 or 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • Leaves of 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Buy the oysters. When buying oysters, look for a tag with the harvest date and use them within a week of that date. Also, make sure the oysters are fresh and alive; the shells should be tightly closed or should close when tapped.

Chill and clean. Put the oysters in a colander of ice when you get home, then place the colander in a bowl and refrigerate. When you're ready to cook, scrub the oysters with a stiff brush under cold running water to remove any grit (a clean nail brush works well).

Shuck the oysters. Hold the oyster, curved-side down, in a towel on a cutting board. Insert an oyster knife between the shells at the narrow pointed end. (Use a real oyster knife-there is no substitute!) Press down firmly on the oyster to prevent slipping and twist the knife to pry the shells apart. Use the knife for leverage; do not use force. Cut the muscle that connects the oyster to the top shell with the knife, being careful not to pierce the meat. Remove the top shell. Slide your knife under the oyster to loosen it, keeping the meat and liquid in the shell. Use your knife to carefully scrape away any shards of shell.

Make the aioli. Blend the garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running and process until thick. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the aioli to a bowl, then cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the ragout. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, stirring, until crisp. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic, cook 3 minutes, then add the butter and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the oysters. Preheat the broiler. Place the oysters, in their shells, in individual baking dishes or one large dish. (Put a crumpled sheet of foil underneath them to keep them steady, if necessary.) Top each with a spoonful of mushroom ragout.

Finish the dish. Top each oyster with a dollop of aeoli. Broil until the aeoli is golden, about 2 minutes, and serve immediately.

Brendan’s Apple & Pear Crumble

  • 3 cups chopped, cored, peeled apples and/or pears, 3 to 4 whole fruits
  • 3 tbls. brown sugar
  • 2 tbls. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbls. butter, melted
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 tbls. butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the fruit with the brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon and egg to coat. Spoon the mixture into one big baking dish or individual ramekins.

For the topping, combine the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture until the topping is crumbly. Sprinkle over the fruit in the baking dish.

Bake until the fruit is bubbly and the topping turns golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Testing note: If you, as I do, have a problem getting a truly “crumbly” topping for your crumble, Besh suggests ensuring the butter is cold going into the mixing process, mixing it less to leave a larger crumb, and perhaps increasing the flour to 1 cup.