Friday, 24 January 2014

Cochon - New Orleans

Ever since I saw an episode of Bizarre Foods on the Gulf Coast, where Andrew eats at Cochon I have become very interested in Cajun food.  I eventually purchased a cookbook called Real Cajun by Donald Link (who owns Cochon) and is a well known chef in Louisiana.  I was instantly hooked.  So when I visited New Orleans I knew I had to dine at one of Donald Link's restaurants (there are currently four, Herbsaint, Cochon, Butcher and Peche Seafood Grill).  Cochon was a given. This restaurant is closely linked to Don's Cajun roots and traditional southern cooking.  The menu is drool worth with Cajun goodies.

Cochon menu

Of course there are to many options to choose from. The selections are made based on things we hadn't tried and an old favourite.

We start off with a pre-lunch drink.  The Swimming Hole - Strawberry Moonshine, Square One cucumber Vodka, grapefruit bitters, limeade, Barritt's Ginger Beer.  It's very refreshing. Lynda's glass doesn't last 2 minutes (and I'm not talking about her drinking it either as she knocked it off the table - classy! haha).  Thankfully the staff are wonderful and replace it without a second thought.

The Swimming Hole - yep I could swim in this!
House bread and butter arrive (which we nibble at but don't really eat as we are saving room for the rest of the feast).  These warm, yeasty rolls are very hard to resist though.

warm buttery rolls
First choice is the fried livers with pepper jelly & toast is a must, as it's a recipe in the cookbook I've been drooling over for months.  What is with pepper jelly?.... I'm addicted to it!

chicken livers with pepper jelly on toasts

The chicken livers are breaded and deep fried and are crunchy coated and creamy in the middle. They are clean and not overpowering (as liver can be sometimes).  This is another 'I need a moment to myself' moments.

An old favourite arrives at the table in the form of crunchy balls of fried boudin with pickled pepper
crunchy balls of goodness
These are fantastic. The crunch and shattering of the coating gives way to a very tasty boudin centre.  As far as fried boudin goes these are up high on the list.

Next up, apple and pecan salad with fried pig ears and barbecue dressing

this little piggy ear went to market

I've had pigs ears before (asian style) so I was curious to see how Cajun style compared.  This was a great little dish.  The pigs ears are not overly crunchy but the pig ear has some chewy bite to it.  The apple and pecan (do you pronouced in pe-can or phecahn?) offers a crispy, sweet balance to the cartilage.

We were tossing up whether to order a fourth dish or not.  As our eyes are bigger than our bellies we submit to it. Mustard pickle braised pork cheeks with roasted grits. 
cheekiness the porky way
Tender, porky cheekiness is braised perfectly. We are happy with the choice and it's a first for both of us tasting pork cheeks.
the cochon spread

If and when you find yourself visiting the Big Easy I highly recommend Cochon (or visiting another of Donald Link's establishments).  This was certainly a highlight eat in NOLA.  I'm now more determined than ever to actually get into the kitchen and give the boudin and the chicken livers with pepper jelly a test - along with so many other cajun delights.  I'm hungry for more!

No comments:

Post a Comment