A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 19, 2009
Oyster and Artichoke Soup (Artichoke and Oyster Soup)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Gumbo Pages
This is one of the great soups of New Orleans, one of the great soups of all time! The original version was the gift of the late Chef Warren LeRuth (one of countless gifts he gave us), and is now a staple on nearly every restaurant menu in the city. Here’s one version:

1/2 cup butter
2 bunches green onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1-3/4 pounds fresh cut artichoke hearts, or
3 9-oz. packages frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and quartered
2 (14 oz) cans artichoke hearts, washed, drained, and quartered (save canned hearts as a last resort)
3 tablespoons flour
1 to 1-1/2 quarts homemade chicken stock
Cayenne to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 quart oysters, drained and chopped (reserve liquor)
1/3 cup sherry
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup milk (...)

Renowned new orleans culinary innovator, restaurateur Warren Leruth dies at 72
Nation’s Restaurant News , Nov 19, 2001 by Paul Frumkin
DIAMONDHEAD, MISS.—Warren Leruth, the renowned New Orleans chef, restaurateur and food science consultant, died at a hospice here after a long illness. He was 72.

Leruth, recognized as a great culinary innovator and the recipient of numerous awards, made many contributions to both the restaurant and retail food industries during his long career.
Then in 1965 he opened LeRuth’s, a restaurant located in Gretna, La., on the west bank of the Mississippi, which many claim helped breathe new life into the New Orleans dining scene. Leruth, fusing French techniques with traditional New Orleans cooking, turned his out-of-the-way restaurant into an international destination, winning a Mobil Five-Star Award for five consecutive years. He also received the Fine Dining Award from Travel Holiday for 16 years.

Restaurant critic Tom Fitzmorris wrote that LeRuth’s “main strength ...is in elevating fairly familiar foodstuffs to great heights, through exacting use of classic Creole and French cooking methods, modified by Warren Leruth’s consummate brilliance at playing flavors against one another.” Among the dishes Leruth is said to have introduced are oysterartichoke soup and sauteed soft-shelled crab with lump crabmeat.

Houston (TX) Press
Cooked Oyster Season: Big Easy Erster and Artichoke Soup
By Robb Walsh
Tuesday, May. 12 2009 @ 2:44PM
Oyster and Artichoke Soup
The artichoke is one of those Italian favorites that was introduced to the French by Catherine de Medici in 1633. Whether the combination of oysters and artichokes originated in Italy, France, or Louisiana isn’t clear. Chef Warren LeRuth is credited with making this one of the most popular soups in New Orleans.

4 large artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
Stick of butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped green onions
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 quart fresh oysters, shucked
1 pint heavy cream
Half a cup of Sherry wine (...)

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, May 19, 2009 • Permalink